THE ninth Bolton Bazaar boasted everything from drummers to dancers and young performers to birds of prey when it took place at new venue, The Excellency.

About 800 people — including the town’s three MPs David Crausby, Yasmin Qureshi and Julie Hilling — watched 27 acts involving entertainers right across the age range.

This was the first time the popular event, involving performers from all areas of Bolton, had been held in the huge and impressive venue in Carlton Street near the town centre.

Presenter Reena Banks said “people really seemed to enjoy it”.

There were young dancers, the resounding drums of the D6Dhollis, two opera singers — one of them Catherine Cropper, aged just 17 — and the sing-language Makaton “choir” on the full programme.

Bolton-based 50-strong Cottontown Chorus showed just why they are Britain’s top barbershop choir with a wonderful arrangement of songs from Mary Poppins, while Aults’ fashion store put on a show which showcased their new womenswear section for the first time.

And the crowds were fascinated by a couple of birds of prey, which swooped through the auditorium in a trained exercise.

The Bazaar was originally started to showcase local talent and bring together people from all over the borough.

Reena Banks said: “It’s not just the audience which comes together on this occasion — the young performers were taking pictures of each other and swapping details making new friendships. And several said ‘see you next year’, which is brilliant!”