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10 NEWS


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A record number of people visited this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival


Organisers have declared that a record 267,000 people attended his year’s Bolton Food and Drink Fes- tival, topping last year’s all time high of 263,000. Visitors came from across


the UK to sample food and drink from more than 200 traders, watch top chefs in action and enjoy live music and entertainment. New this year was the addition of a music stage on the town’s Le Mans Crescent. Bolton Food and Drink


Festival took place at the end of last month, with festival favourite James Martin head- ing the bill. It was his ninth appearance at the festival. “To me it is the biggest food


festival in the UK, simple as that,” he said. “I know every bank holiday Monday at this time it’s Bolton. I enjoy it. “The people are great here,


the stalls are fantastic and the demonstrations are always good fun.” The festival is organised


by Bolton Council, in associ- ation with Aldi, and the leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, reckoned it had been a huge success. He said: “It is hard to


imagine, but somehow this festival gets bigger and better, which is amazing. “It is a testament to all those


who work so hard to organise it that it is such a massive hit with the public – it is very much a family event and it is wonderful to see people of all ages having such a great time. “The festival music stage


on Le Mans Crescent has been another excellent addi- tion this year, and it has been wonderful to see crowds


enjoying the many live per- formances that we have put on beneath one of our most magnificent landmarks.” Aldi Regional Managing


Director, Ruth Doyle, said: “Yet again the festival was a great success – it really does seem to get bigger and better each year. “It was fantastic to see sup-


pliers coming together and we were pleased to be able to showcase our award winning selection of wines and spirits to visitors, who seemed to really enjoy our top tipples. “Since we moved our


Regional Distribution Centre to Bolton in 2016, we’ve been made to feel very welcome by the local community and we look forward to serving them through our growing number of stores in the area for years to come.” Michael Caines, who


launched the festival on Friday August 25, said: “Fes- tivals such as this are very important for the community. It celebrates what’s great about the diversity of the cul- ture that exists within Bolton and the surrounding area. “The festival just gets bigger and better.” On the Sunday, crowd


pleaser Ainsley Harriott had captive audiences at his shows. It was his first visit to the festival and as well as cooking, he hosted a Slattery afternoon tea with Apprentice winner Alana Spencer and Bake Off winner John Whaite. Ainsley said: “It’s my first


visit to Bolton and I was amazed by the scale and diversity of the festival. “The audiences were fan-


tastic and it was lovely to see people discovering and


enjoying such a variety of food.” Sunday Brunch star Simon


Rimmer entertained audi- ences on the Saturday with his cooking, and a highlight for visitors was his pasty and beer demonstration with Matt Carr and beer sommelier Annabel Smith. Simon said: “I think even


though I’ve not been for a few years I’ve always been aware that the festival grows bigger and better every year. “More importantly it has managed to keep the rela- tionship with the local com- munity.” There was plenty to keep


children happy, too. The Octagon Theatre was trans- formed into a train station, while hundreds of children enjoyed a special Mad Hat- ter’s Tea Party marquee and free activities in Bolton Cen- tral Library & Museum and Crompton Place. As well as the celebrity


chefs, the weekend saw a host of free demonstrations in Bolton Market and inside a marquee, from the likes of Andrew Nutter, Manchester House’s Aiden Byrne, Bake Off winner John Whaite and Masterchef winner Simon Wood. Traders were also pleased


with the huge amount of visitors. Matthew Woodward, from Grandad’s Sausages, said: “It’s the first time we’ve been here and it has been absolutely marvellous for us. “Yesterday was a cracking


day – we had Ainsley sam- pling our sausages and we were helping chef Mike Har- rison at a cookery demo. We have sold out every day – it’s been fantastic.”


Bolton’s biggest food festival yet


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