Christmas 2022

Christmas 2022

Christmas image

It’s the Season for Sharing!

Mid and East Antrim is packed with festive events, local shops, cosy cafés, and places to enjoy winter’s wonderland.

Christmas Lights Switch-on events     Town Centre Christmas Activities

Christmas Toy Container Appeal     Christmas Bin Collections


Christmas Lights Switch-on events:

Larne – Friday 18 November, 5pm - 8pm

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 is a full programme of entertainment taking place at Broadway from 5pm with Sound Goods Music, featuring performances by Larne Cheerleading Club, The Salvation Army and Freefall.


Ballymena – Saturday 19 November, 4pm – 7pm

Kick off the Christmas festivities in Ballymena on Saturday 19 November from 4pm. 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.

Here's the running order for the day:

  • 12noon - 5pm: Festive Entertainment by Ballymena Means
  • 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
  • 7pm - END

Carrickfergus – Friday 25 November, 4pm – 7pm

Join us for 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. 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 6.30pm approx. Enjoy the magical finale where a fabulous fireworks display will take place at approx. 6.45pm from Fisherman's Quay. (Weather dependent)

Here is the running order for the event:

  • 4pm - Harper Entertainment on the Stage
  • 4pm - Face Painting, Balloon Modelling and Christmas Carnival Games on High Street
  • 4pm - Meet Santa's Reindeer, Selfie Sparkly Photo Frame, Toast Your Own Marshmallows at Market Place
  • 4.20pm - @Uplift Performing Arts on the Stage
  • 4.45pm - Studio 86 on the Stage
  • 5pm - Magic Show by Caolan McBride on the Stage
  • 5pm - 6pm - Civic Carol Service at St Nicholas' Church
  • 5.20pm - Live music from 'This Way Up' on the Stage
  • 6.30pm - Christmas Lights Switch On - on the Stage
  • 6.45pm - Fireworks Display from Fisherman's Quay
  • 7pm - END

Whitehead – Saturday 26 November, 12pm – 6.30pm

The popular Victorian Street Fair returns for 2022! From street entertainers, arts & crafts and Christmas stalls together with street vendors offer 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, 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)

Join us in Whitehead Presbyterian Church from 4pm 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 – Thursday 1 December, 7pm – 8pm (Greenisland Community Centre)

Join us for singing and sparkle as we switch on the Christmas tree lights, with performances from Silverstream PS and Greenisland PS school choirs. Plus a special visit from Santa!


Other Christmas events:

Seasonal Sounds - 3, 10, 17 December, 2-3pm, Carrickfergus Town Centre

There will be festive performances taking place in Carrickfergus throughout December.

The Brass and Silver Band concerts will entertain shoppers in Carrickfergus town centre from 2-3pm on 3, 10 and 17 December (weather dependent).

Larne Christmas Activities

Friday 25 November, 6pm - 8.30pm

Join us in the Town Hall for a screening of the ‘Elf Movie’ provided by MayWe! 

Book your ticket here.

Saturday 26 November, 11am - 3pm

  • Christmas Craft Fair in Larne Town Hall
  • Festive Flower Arranging demonstration - 11.45am
  • Christmas Wreath Making (fresh greenery) demonstration - 1.45pm
  • Seasonal music
  • Big Telly Theatre Company will be in the Town Hall from 11am – 3pm, this is a fun interactive experience for all ages

Ballymena Christmas Activities

Thursday 1 - Saturday 3 December 11am - 3pm

  • Christmas Market in Alexander Street Car Park

Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 December 11am - 3pm

  • Christmas Market in Alexander Street Car Park

Seasonal music throughout the markets!

Friday 9 December from 3pm - 7.30pm
Saturday 10 December from 11am - 3.30pm

  • Big Telly’s Elf Factory – Pop up Shop, Tower Centre. Come along to the Elf Factory interactive experience.

Carrickfergus Christmas Activities

Friday 2 December, 3pm – 7pm

  • Carrickfergus Artisan Market in Market Place with seasonal live music provided by Uplift
  • Visit Santa Claus in the Pop-up shop in the DeCourcy Centre from 3pm - 7pm

Saturday 3 December, 11am – 3pm

  • Carrickfergus Artisan Market in Market Place with seasonal live music provided by Uplift
  • Big Telly will be hosting a ‘Festive Workshop’ interactive experience from 11am – 3pm in the Pop-up Shop in the DeCourcy Centre. (No booking required)

Christmas Toy Container

This Christmas, why not give those unwanted and pre-loved toys lying around the house to families who may find this time of year more challenging?

For the fourth year running, Council is working in partnership with Habitat ReStore Ballymena, East Belfast Mission (Restore) and local community groups including Larne Community Care Centre, Victoria Evangelical Church and Carrickfergus Community Forum to deliver a toy donation scheme.

The project will run until Saturday 10 December.

Christmas containers are being set up at five household recycling centres and three leisure centres across Mid and East Antrim.

Details and times for drop-off are:

Ballymena area:

- Waveney Road HRC, Ballymena – Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
- Seven Towers Leisure Centre

Larne area:

- Redlands HRC, Larne – Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
- Larne South HRC, Islandmagee – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 9am – 5pm
- Glenarm HRC – Wednesday and Saturday 9am – 5pm
- Larne Leisure Centre

Carrickfergus area:

- Sullatober HRC, Carrickfergus – Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm, Sunday 1pm – 5pm
- Amphitheatre, Carrickfergus


Bin Collections over Christmas & New Year

Black / Brown / Blue bin collections

All collections will be as normal with the exception of:

Carrickfergus -  Monday 26 December 2022: collections will take place on Saturday 24 December 2022.

Kerbside boxes collections:

All collections will be as normal with the exception of:

Monday 26 December 2022: collections will take place on Saturday 24 December 2022 for both Ballymena and Carrickfergus areas.

Please note: our Household Recycling Centres (HRC) will also be closed on Sunday 1 January 2023.