‘Large scale’ festive switch on programme agreed for Glengormley and Antrim

Antrim and Newtownabbey will switch on to Christmas at a cost of £40,000 with live events planned in Glengormley and Antrim, the borough council has agreed.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 3:22 pm

Virtual events are also planned for Airport, Ballyclare, Dunsilly, Macedon and Threemilewater areas also to include a Christmas lights switch on.

The “large scale events” are expected to feature participation by Cool FM, children’s entertainer “Mr Hullabaloo”, Christmas readings and carols and entertainment by schoolchildren and community groups.

The council has set aside a total budget of £104,000 available for the 2021 Christmas festivity programme.

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A festive switch-on event is planned later this year for Glengormley.

It is proposed to provide financial assistance of £16,000 for senior citizens’ Christmas festivities and £14,000 for a Christmas Celebration Events Fund both of which will be open for applications in September.

A “Most Festive” competition which will be open to the community will be launched in October.

The overall programme is being planned “taking into consideration the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”, councillors have been told.

A report to council  stated that last year’s virtual switch-on programme was delivered online in November and December due to Covid restrictions attracting 80,000 views. There were further events in the council’s seven districts.

The most popular was Glengormley’s with 18,391 views on social media. Antrim had just over 14,000 and Ballyclare, 12,000. The least popular was Randalstown, 7,056.

Commenting on the programme, Antrim Ulster Unionist Councillor Jim Montgomery said: “I think there will be big crowds at events this year.”

He proceeded to welcome the proposals, seconded by Glengormley Sinn Fein Councillor Michael Goodman who said he was “happy” to second.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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