The weather gods relented for this year’s Bolton’s annual Christmas Lights switch-on and firework display. On a cold but dry and clear evening, Victoria Square was packed with happy Boltonians, young and old, there to see the traditional start of the festive season in the town, and the Town Hall was illuminated with seasonal colours.
Entertainment for the evening included indie band Jordan Allen; The Rock Choir; Bolton All Starz Children’s Workshop; 10-year-old singer Kallea, from Bolton Dance & performing Arts College; the Bolton Ukelele Group; a group of dancers from the Bolton Lads & Girls Club; 12-year-old singer Izzie Ingham, and Redd, who has topped the charts across Europe and Asia. As well as musical entertainment there was an amusing poem, Boltopia, which celebrates our town, written and read by Ibby Ismail, Chair of Bolton CVS. The cast of the Albert Halls pantomime ‘Aladdin’ also joined in with the festivities.
Stepping in at the last minute to replace X-Factor finalist Ray Quinn in performing the actual ‘light-up’ was Jenny Ryan, star of ITV’s ‘The Chase’.
VIP special guests included the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Hilary Fairclough and some of Bolton’s firefighters, who attended the recent major fire at ‘The Cube’ student accommodation, and University of Bolton Student Union President Ansh Sachdeva was there to thank the people of Bolton for their overwhelmingly generous response to that awful event. Bolton Wanderers’ manager Keith Hill, together with assistant David Flitcroft and some of the players, thanked the people of Bolton for continuing to strongly support the club during their recent difficulties, on and off the football pitch.
A colourful Christmas Parade completed its journey round the town centre, arriving in Victoria Square shortly before the grand finale, with Jenny Ryan switching on the lights under the watchful eyes of the Mayor and of Father Christmas himself. The evening then concluded with a spectacular firework display.