Carrickfergus Christmas tree: Greater community input could foster civic pride over festive centrepiece

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The Christmas tree in Carrickfergus town centre could be improved with greater community input, local residents have suggested.

The festive centrepiece, located at Market Place, was illuminated on November 25 during the town’s annual Christmas switch-on ceremony.

However, some local people have taken to social media to express their disappointment at how the tree has been decorated.

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One Facebook user branded it an “embarrassment”, while others said it was “underwhelming” or “looked bare”.

The Christmas tree in Carrick town centre.  Photo: Fiona BoydThe Christmas tree in Carrick town centre.  Photo: Fiona Boyd
The Christmas tree in Carrick town centre. Photo: Fiona Boyd

But several residents also came to the tree’s defence, praising its appearance when lit up in the evening. One added: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about!”

Despite the range of opinions on the tree’s visual appeal, many residents were in agreement that more community input for the decorations could be a positive step going forward.

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Some suggested that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council could foster a greater sense of “pride and ownership” in the tree by working alongside local schoolchildren, community groups such as the Men’s Shed or Kilcreggan Urban Farm, or local nursing homes to craft decorations.

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Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for the council said: “We are aware that some locals have voiced their disappointment about this year’s Christmas tree in Carrickfergus. The tree traditionally forms one part of the town’s overall outdoor décor for the festive season, with lights erected throughout Carrickfergus town centre.

“We wish to assure residents and businesses we are reviewing our town centre Christmas decoration offering with a view to enhancing the experience moving forward.”