Ballymena ready for Christmas switch on

The Braid is the place to be on Thursday night, November 12, when Ballymena’s Christmas lights will be switched on at around 7pm.

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Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Cllr Billy Ashe will be joined by Castle Tower pupil Joshua Kennedy for the very special occcasion which will also kick-start a range of exciting seasonal events across the borough in the run up to December 25.

In advance of the festive fun at The Braid, which will include a live band on stage from 6.30pm, Cllr. Ashe said: “Celebrating the festive season is at the heart of autumn and winter activities across Mid and East Antrim borough and I’m very pleased that I will be joined in switching on the Christmas lights display in Ballymena by a young pupil from one of our local schools.

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“The message of ‘Peace and Goodwill’ is central to the celebration of Christmas and it is very fitting that the younger generation is being encouraged to play their part,” he said.

Along with children’s performers, face painting and street entertainers throughout Thursday night’s ‘switch-on’ event, the Braid Café will be open from 6pm.

Activities across Mid and East Antrim in the coming weeks will include such attractions as the seasonal pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, which will play in both Ballymena and Larne, and even a Festive Train Ride which will be transporting people to see Santa at the Family Fun Zone in Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, on weekends throughout December (call 07745 570037 for more details).

Other not-to-be-missed events and activites include:

Festive fun and fireworks at the Carrickfergus Switch-on, taking place on Saturday, November 14.

A Lantern Parade round Larne town centre, with decorated floats and music and led by Santa on Thursday, November 19.

Sleeping Beauty Pantomime at the McNeill Theatre, Larne, on Thursday and Friday, November 26 and 27.

Christmas lights switch-on in Broughshane by the Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe, on Friday, November 27, from 6.45pm to 7.45pm.

Victorian Street Fair in Whitehead from 1pm followed by the Christmas lights Switch-on, on Saturday, November 28.

Sleeping Beauty Pantomime at The Braid, Ballymena, daily from November 26-28.

Greenisland festive fun event including carol service on Thursday, December 3, from 7pm to 8pm.

Christmas Craft and Food Market at Larne Market Yard with live music from 10.30am to 3pm and a special visit from Santa accompanied by his reindeer on Saturday, December 5.

Glenarm Christmas Market at the Eglinton Shed, Eglinton Yard, Glenarm, on Saturday, December 5, from 5pm-7pm.

Christmas lights switch on at Dixon Hall, Drains Bay, Larne, on Tuesday, December 8, from 7-8pm.