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Town’s two-day festival full of chocolate delights
9:56am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of visitors will descend on Ramsbottom this weekend for a taste of its fifth annual Chocolate Festival.
The award-winning event, to be staged on Saturday and Sunday, promises to be bigger and better than ever.
A two-day chocolate market, “alfresco” dining, music and a host of other attractions will help swell the crowds, and 42 traders from all over the UK will take part in the market in Bridge Street, combining high-quality chocolate producers, chocolate beauty products and crafts.
More than 10 quality food traders will take part in the “alfresco” dining in Market Place and Square Street. Cafes, restaurants and shops will also have chocolate specials on their menus.
Outstanding Beers will be serving locally produced real ales at a beer tent in Market Place, where a music tent will be located, featuring about 10 acts performing “unplugged” acoustic sets.
Visitors can take advantage of free creche facilities at Ramsbottom Civic Hall on days, between 11am and 3pm.
Other attractions at the hall include children’s craft activities, entertainment and a giant Easter egg competition.
A new “park and ride” scheme will operate from Woodhey High School, with the last shuttle bus back from the festival leaving at 4.30pm on both days.
To coincide with the festival, Ramsbottom Rotary Club is staging “duck and boat” races on the River Irwell, near the railway station, on Sunday. Two duck races will be held at 1pm and 3pm and the home-made boat race for children will take place at 2pm.
Meanwhile, St Paul’s Church, in Bridge Street, will be open to the public. On Saturday, the church’s spring fair starts at 10.30am and on Sunday, from 1pm, there will be refreshments plus stalls.
Last year, Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival attracted more than 20,000 visitors and won “best small event” in the Manchester Tourism Awards.
It is a joint initiative between Bury Council and Ramsbottom Business Group.
Chocolate Cafe owner Paul Morris said: “Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival is now an important part of the North West food scene and attracts people from all over the country.”