Make Christmas memories at the festive light switch-ons across Mid and East Antrim

Tuesday 8 November 2022

It’s time to celebrate the season of goodwill as towns and villages across Mid and East Antrim prepare to usher in the festive season with Christmas light switch ons to kick start the season for residents, visitors and shoppers alike.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said: “It has, and continues to be, a very challenging time for many within our community and that’s why our message this Christmas in Mid and East Antrim is that we all look out for one another during what is the #SeasonForSharing.

“The switching on of our Christmas lights across Mid and East Antrim is a much-loved key date in the calendars of many of our residents, and I, like them, am really looking forward to this year’s events which will bring entertainment, excitement, colour, music and joy to thousands of citizens.

“Our free to attend switch-on events will feature fantastic street entertainment, pop-up performances and homegrown musical talent in abundance in each town. You can meet the captivating Christmas-themed characters on a walkabout and capture magical moments as the main attraction - Santa - brings extra sparkle and cheer when he touches down from the North Pole to help switch on the Christmas lights!

“Supporting local high-street businesses has never been more important. With your help, we can use these events to kick start the festive season in Mid and East Antrim.  Local retailers are the heart of our town centres and village high streets, and have everything you need this Christmas.”

For further information, our Christmas page or on social media search for the hashtag #SeasonForSharing.

Larne – Friday 18 November 5pm - 8pm (7.30pm switch on)

Santa will lead a special parade that will leave Larne Market Yard around 7pm before heading to Broadway to switch on the lights at 7.30pm. The parade will feature floats, Christmas characters and of course Santa! The parade takes in Circular Road, Quay Street, stopping briefly at Broadway for Santa and the Mayor to turn on the Christmas lights on, before returning along Main Street and High Street.

There will be a full programme of festive entertainment taking place at Broadway from 5pm with Sound Goods Music and 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!

The festive entertainment programme begins at 4pm with Christmassy walkabout characters, meet Santa’s reindeers 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 to entertain the crowds!

The route will take in Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, (pause at Harmony Hub to switch on the lights at 6.30pm with Santa and the Mayor), Church Street, Bryan Street and back to the Tower Centre.

Carrickfergus – Friday 25 November, 4pm – 7pm

Come along for an afternoon of festive family fun with music, dance and Christmas characters to get you in the spirit before the lights 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 live music from This Way Up plus 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).

Whitehead – Saturday 26 November, 12pm – 6.30pm

The popular Victorian Street Fair returns for 2022!

From street entertainers and arts and crafts to Christmas stalls and street vendors – it’s 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 plus crafts demonstrations including spinning, lace-making and pottery. There will also be a selection of talks and storytelling including Billy Teare, Steve Diamond and David Hume. (Victorian Street Fair organised by Whitehead Community Association)

The Civic Carol service will take place in Whitehead Presbyterian Church from 4pm, 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)

Jingle all the way to Greenisland for an evening of singing and sparkle as the Christmas tree lights are switched on. With performances from Silverstream PS and Greenisland PS school choirs, there will also be a very special visit from Santa!