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Ballymena’s Big Christmas Switch-on

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It’s almost time for the big Christmas Lights’ Switch-on 2015, with lots of exciting festive events also taking place across Mid and East Antrim Borough in the coming days and weeks.

One early highlight, on Thursday 12 November, will see the Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe joined at Ballymena’s Big Switch-on by Joshua Kennedy, a pupil from Castle Tower School.

In advance of the festive fun at The Braid, 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.

“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.

Activities across Mid and East Antrim Borough also includes such attractions as the seasonal pantomime, Sleeping Beauty which will play in both Ballymena and Larne and even a Festive Train Ride. Our full listing of festive events is below:

Thursday 12 November: Ballymena will host a live Band, playing on stage outside The Braid, from 6.30pm to ‘warm-up’ the audience before local pupil, Joshua Kennedy from the Loughan Campus of Castle Tower School assists the Mayor, Cllr. Ashe at just after 7pm for the big ‘Switch-on’.
Along with children’s performers, face painting and street entertainers throughout the event, the Braid Café will be open from 6.00pm.

Saturday 14 November: Festive fun and fireworks at the Carrickfergus Switch-on.
Thursday 19 November: Santa himself kicks-off the festive celebrations by leading a Lantern Parade round Larne Town Centre, with decorated floats and music.
Thursday 26, Friday 27 November: Sleeping Beauty Pantomime, McNeill Theatre, Larne: School performance at 9.30am and 12.30pm with family performance at 7pm on Thursday 26 November.
Friday 27th November: Broughshane will host entertainment and the Mayor, Cllr Billy Ashe performing the Christmas Lights Switch-on (6.45pm to 7.45pm), at Broughshane House.
Saturday 28 November: Whitehead’s annual event features a Victorian Street Fair followed by the Christmas lights Switch-on, (1pm to 7.30pm) and will be attended by the Mayor, Cllr. Billy Ashe.
Thursday 26, Friday 27, Saturday 28 November: Sleeping Beauty Pantomime, The Braid, Ballymena: daily at 7.30pm and additional matinee at 1.30pm on Saturday 28 November.
Thursday 3 December: The annual Greenisland event, to include a carol service, takes place from 7pm to 8pm.
Saturday 5 December: Larne Market Yard will host a special Christmas Craft and Food Market with live music (10.30am to 3pm) and a special visit from Santa accompanied by his reindeer.
Saturday 5 December: Glenarm Christmas Market at the Eglinton Shed, Eglinton Yard, Glenarm, (5pm. – 7pm);
Tuesday, 8th December, Dixon Hall, Drains Bay, Larne (7.00 – 8.00pm) Christmas lights Switch-on followed by a short programme of entertainment and refreshments.
Weekends in December: The Festive Train Ride will be open to carry children to see Santa at the Family Fun Zone in Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, at £3 per adult. Call ahead to confirm on 07745 570037.

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