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Rediscover the Spirit of MEA this Christmas

Christmas in Mid and East Antrim will look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get into the festive fun by taking part in a packed programme of seasonal activities and entertainment for all the family while supporting and shopping local.

Public health concerns and Coronavirus restrictions mean that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council (MEABC) will not be able to deliver the traditional Christmas Lights Switch-On events in our towns and villages.

Our wonderful borough will still be illuminated for the festive season, however, and we have been busy putting the final touches to a sparkling schedule of virtual activities to be rolled out across our social media channels in the countdown to Christmas 2020.

Rediscover the Spirit of MEA by supporting our wonderful local businesses, with plenty of easy and free car parking, and be assured that all the safety measures are in place to protect you and your family to shop local.

“Christmas will look different this year due to the need for us all to work together to protect the health of our community”, explained Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston.

“While we are unable to hold events where people might gather in large numbers, we will still all be able to share in the magic of Christmas, albeit virtually and from the comfort of our own homes.

“Council has been instrumental in helping our local businesses take every step possible to ensure we can all shop safely in our towns and villages, so we will still be able to pick up gifts for those we love at Christmas time.

“I am also very conscious that Christmas will be a difficult time for many in our community, particularly those who have lost loved ones or who find themselves under financial pressure because of the pandemic.

“But there are so many wonderful charities and community organisations who continue to go above and beyond to help families and individuals right across our borough all through the year. I encourage everyone to safely #Rediscover the #SpiritofMEA this Christmas and to remain confident that brighter days are ahead in the New Year.”

We are also finalising plans for three small outdoor Christmas markets in Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus over the festive period to provide vital support for our local retailers who face huge economic pressures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Christmas Markets are subject to Northern Ireland Executive restrictions and guidance, and we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will adapt plans based on the guidance.

The safety of our communities is our top priority throughout the pandemic and we will continue to follow the direction and guidance of the Northern Ireland Executive and Public Health Agency in protecting the public.

The Christmas lights will be switched on virtually in Ballymena on Thursday 19 November, Larne Friday 20 November and Carrickfergus Saturday 21 November.

We urge all those in our community to watch the magic from home on these dates.

Check the Council website for more information. #SpiritofMEA #ShopSafe #SupportLocal

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