A DOZEN local community groups have been awarded grants of £400 each to help them commemorate 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
With Diamond Jubilee fever set to sweep through the borough from Saturday, June 2 to Tuesday, June 5, several community groups are planning to organise street parties and other events in celebration of the anniversary.
As previously reported in the Times, Larne Council invited local groups to apply for a share in a £5,000 funding pot. The scheme was open to all groups and organisations in the borough, and grants were assessed by a panel of five local councillors and a number of council officers, which met on Monday, March 12 at Larne Museum.
A total of 12 groups are to receive an equal share of the funding amounting to £4,800, with £200 left over for the local authority to advertise the various events that are taking place. A web page dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee events will also be set up and posters will be created to help spread the word. Some of the planned events are expected to attract up to 200 participants.
Groups that will be holding street parties include the Factory Community Group, Ballycarry Community Association, Craigyhill Community Group and Tullygarley Community Association.
Glenarm Village Committee will be hosting afternoon tea and a summer picnic, while Ballygally Community Association are organising a beach clean, barbecue and tea party.
Meanwhile, Linn Road Dance Club are planning a Diamond Jubilee dance celebration event, and Gleno Community Group will host a 1950’s vintage street party. Smythtown Cultural Society will also get involved in the festivities by holding a Jubilee supper and historical talk, while the Harbour Community Group will organise a picnic.
Larne YMCA and Millbrook Community Association will also be holding events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The local authority is also set to mark the milestone anniversary with a range of events and activities. On Monday, June 4, the council plans to team up with Larne Alive to recreate an afternoon of 1950s family fun at Town Park.
At 10pm that evening, the Queen will be lighting a beacon following a concert at Buckingham Palace. To coincide with this, Larne will join other boroughs in lighting one of a chain of national beacons across the UK. A similar event was held at the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
There are also plans to enhance floral displays in the borough to mark the occasion, and the Lord Lieutenant of Co Antrim will be presenting an award to the council with the best Diamond Jubilee themed displays.
And to mark the fifth anniversary of the opening of Jubilee Park Glynn, council staff will begin making environmental improvements to the park and hope to involve the local community in the scheme.
The council also been working with other local authorities in County Antrim to co-ordinate a combined programme of events to mark the occasion, including a parade in Ballymena on Monday, June 4.
Larne council has also agreed to reserve two tables of 10 people to represent the borough at a Diamond Jubilee dinner on May 31 in the Galgorm Manor Hotel, Ballymena. Representatives will be from the voluntary, business and community sectors, and all other councils in County Antrim will represented at the event.
The council will now compile a list of names of local people who could potentially represent the borough at the event and hold a raffle at Smiley Buildings to determine who will attend. An advertisement may also be placed in the local press to allow people to nominate candidates.