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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Make your Christmas magical in Mid & East Antrim

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Christmas parade at night time in town streets with children carrying lanterns

With the countdown to Christmas already having begun for many, plans are being polished and perfected by Santa's little helpers for another sparkling Festive season across Mid and East Antrim.

Dates have been confirmed for a number of events in the Borough, including in Ballymena, Larne, Whitehead and Carrickfergus, which will offer up plenty of memory making moments for families and friends alike.


Friday 17 November 2023

Kick off the Christmas celebrations in Larne on Friday 18 November with Festive fun scheduled between 5pm - 8pm (switch on 7.30pm).

Santa will lead a special parade that will leave Larne Market Yard around 7pm before heading to Broadway to switch on the lights at 7.30pm.

The parade will feature floats, Clydesdale horses and dray, Christmas characters, local school children and of course Santa!

There is a NEW parade route for 2023 which takes in Station Road, Bridge Street, Main Street, turning at the mini roundabout and making its way to Broadway where Santa and the Mayor will turn on the Christmas lights on.

The community can enjoy a full programme of entertainment, which will take place at Broadway from 5pm with Sound Goods Music and featuring live music from The VIPs, kids entertainment and festive walkabouts.

Santa Clause sitting in a red sleigh smiling and waving


Saturday 18 November 2023

Join the fun on Saturday 18 November as the Ballymena Christmas Lights are switched on!

The festive entertainment programme begins at 4pm with Christmassy walkabout characters, face painting, balloon modelling and toe-tapping tunes from the live concert stage at Broadway - featuring live music from Ballymena Ukelele Group and The Gatecrashers.

The Santa Parade starts from Wellington Street at 6pm and will feature floats, local school children with lanterns, Santa’s Clydesdale horses and dray and plenty of festive characters to entertain the crowds!

The route will take in Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, (pause at Harmony Hub to switch on the lights at 6.30pm with Santa and the Mayor), Church Street, Bryan Street and back to the Tower Centre.

Christmas lights

Christmas lights

Children enjoying a ride on a merry-go-round


Saturday 25 November 2023

Plan to go along for an afternoon of festive family fun on Saturday 25 November from 2pm, with music, dance and Christmas characters to get you in the spirit before the lights switch on at High Street.

There will be plenty of entertainment on stage throughout the day including performances from Uplift Performing Arts, live music from The Flame N’Ukes and The Stepbrothers plus much more.

From festive characters, face painting, Christmas carnival games and mini carousels, there is lots of fun for the family.

The Traditional Civic carol service will take place in the historic St Nicholas’ Church from 4pm.

Help the Mayor and Santa countdown to the official lights switch on at 5.30pm (approx). Enjoy the magical finale where a fabulous fireworks display will take place at approx. 5.45pm from Fisherman's Quay. (Weather dependent).

Traditional snowy scene in town square featuring buildings, stalls and a Christmas tree


Saturday 2 December 2023

Established in 2008, the street fair celebrates the heritage of Whitehead town with its Victorian theme.

From street entertainers, arts and crafts to Christmas stalls and street vendors – it’s the perfect backdrop to the Christmas lights switch-on.

There will be a live music stage with a jam packed schedule of local acts, meet Santa in his grotto plus steam train rides, hog roasts, fairground rides and kids entertainment. There will also be a selection of talks and storytelling. (Victorian Street Fair organised by Whitehead Community Association).

The Civic Carol service will take place in Whitehead Presbyterian Church from 4pm, followed by the official Christmas Lights switch on at 5.30pm.

The fabulous fireworks display will take place at 6pm - along the promenade - to close the festivities (weather dependent).

Red baubles on a Christmas tree

Other Christmas Community Events

Family Christmas Crafts with Storytime

Larne Museum & Arts Centre

Saturday 9 December 2023 | 10.30am – 3pm

Join this event for a free drop-in Christmas crafts session with activities suitable for all ages. The day will also include seasonal stories. Suitable for the whole family.

Please express your interest by contacting Larne Museum:

T: 028 2826 2443

Light refreshments provided!


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