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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Time to shine! Mid & East Antrim getting ready to light up for a memory-making Christmas

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Towns and villages across Mid and East Antrim are set to shine this festive season.

Plans have been prepared and are in place for Santa's arrival in the borough, offering opportunities for everyone - old and young - to make memories as communities come together to celebrate Christmas!

As always, the Ballymena Christmas Lights Switch-On is a date worth marking in your diary, and this years event is shaping up to be the best yet.

Christmas festivities will kick-off in Ballymena on Saturday 19 November from 4pm - 7pm.

The festive entertainment programme begins at 4pm with Christmassy walkabout characters and toe-tapping tunes from the live concert stage at Broadway, featuring live music from the Harry McGarrity Band and a choir.

The Santa Parade starts from Wellington Street at 6pm and will feature Cullybackey Pipe Band, Dunclug Primary School children with lanterns, Santa’s Clydesdale horses and dray and plenty of festive characters!

The route is Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, (pause at the Bandstand to switch on the lights at 6.30pm with Santa and the Mayor), Church Street, Bryan Street and back to the Tower Centre, where Santa will take up his residence for a few weeks before departing for the North Pole.

Here's the running order for the day:

12noon - 5pm: Festive Entertainment by Ballymena Means (Greenvale Street and walkabout characters throughout the town)

4pm - Face Painting, Balloon Modelling & meet Santa's Reindeer at Wellington Court

4pm - Selfie Sparkly Bauble at the Harmony Hub

4.30pm - Music at the Harmony Hub

4.45pm - Live Music from The Harry McGarrity Band at the Harmony Hub

6pm - Raise the Roof Choir at the Harmony Hub

6pm - Santa Parade will do a circuit of the Town Square

6.30pm - Christmas Lights Switch On at the Harmony Hub

6.40pm - Parade moves off and back to the Town Centre

Carrickfergus Christmas Lights Switch-On will take place on Friday 25 November, 4pm – 7pm.

Everyone is invited to an afternoon of family fun with music, dance and Christmas characters to get you in the spirit before the light’s switch on at High Street in the town.

There will be plenty of entertainment on stage throughout the day including performances from Uplift Performing Arts, a magic show and much more.

From festive characters, face painting, toast your own marshmallows, Christmas carnival games and mini carousels, there is lots of festive fun for the family!

Santa’s reindeer will also make an appearance between 4pm - 6.30pm.

The Civic Carol Service will take place in the historic St Nicholas’ Church from 5pm – 6pm.

Help the Mayor and Santa countdown to the official lights switch-on at around 6.30pm.

Afterwards you can enjoy the magical finale where a fabulous fireworks display will take place at approximately 6.45pm from Fisherman's Quay. (Weather dependent)

Larne Christmas Lights Switch-On is planned for Friday 18 November!

Santa will lead a special parade from Larne Market Yard to Broadway to switch on the lights at 7.30pm. There will be lots of festive characters wandering the streets spreading festive cheer.

The parade will start at approx. 7.10pm from Larne Market Yard, heading along Circular Road, Quay Street, stopping briefly at Broadway for the Light Switch On at 7.30pm and returning along Main Street and High Street.

There will be a full programme of entertainment taking place at Broadway from 5pm!

Other events set to take place across Mid and East Antrim include:

• Whitehead Victorian Street Fair

Saturday 26 November, 12pm – 6.30pm

The popular Victorian Street Fair returns to Whitehead for 2022!

Street entertainers, arts & crafts, and Christmas stalls, together with street vendors, will offer the perfect backdrop for 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, crafts demonstrations including spinning, lace-making and pottery.

A selection of talks and storytelling including Billy Teare, Steve Diamond and David Hume.

(Victorian Street Fair organised by Whitehead Community Association)

Pop along to Whitehead Presbyterian Church from 4.30pm for the Civic Carol service 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)

Greenisland Christmas Lights Switch-On

Thursday 1 December 2022, 7pm – 8pm

Join with the the local community at Greenisland Community Centre for singing and sparkle as the Christmas tree lights are switched on, with performances from Silverstream PS and Greenisland PS school choirs.

Plus a special visit from Santa!


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