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Free fun at Octagon family festival


Dancing fever at the Bolton Octagon's Family Festival
Dancing fever at the Bolton Octagon's Family Festival. Pic: Ray Jefferson

Families can enjoy Around the World-themed fun at this weekend's third annual free Family Festival from Bolton Octagon.

The theatre and Bolton Council is combining the festival with the wider Bolton Food & Drink Festival across the Bank Holiday weekend (August 25-27), inside the Octagon and in Bolton town centre.

Visitors can enjoy interactive storytelling and workshops, arts and crafts, puppetry performances, a family disco, live outdoor performances and parades and more.

The theme matches the Octagon's up-coming Christmas show, a new musical adaptation of the classic adventure story Around the World in 80 Days.

Eye of Newt Theatre Company will entertain weekend audiences in the theatre's main auditorium with interactive sessions of storytelling, music and puppets. If dancing is your preference, put on your dancing shoes and join an underwater adventure in an Under the Sea-inspired family disco in the Octagon Studio.

Or you can get creative in a series of arts and crafts workshops, inspired by a travel theme.

There will also be a dedicated space in which families can unwind and get creative with crafts, as well as an array of sensory activities.

In its biggest-ever programme, the Octagon’s family festival will also be spilling out across the town centre with a variety of outdoor performances, which will include puppetry, circus skills, magical bubbles, family theatre and parades.

Theatre spokesman Taylor Barnes said, "We're pleased to be able to offer even more for families this year and are looking forward to seeing lots of happy faces enjoying performances, storytelling and more!”

There are free, bookable slots for the indoor activities each day of the festival (10am–12:30pm & 1pm–3pm). Though all festival activities are free, participants in the Octagon building will need a wristband and must book in advance. Free wristbands can be booked on the Octagon website here.

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