Retail in focus for Larne’s festive programme

Christmas celebrations in Larne last year. INLT 51-011-PSB
Christmas celebrations in Larne last year. INLT 51-011-PSB

Local businesses are to be boosted as Mid and East Antrim Borough Council prepares to mark the festive season in Larne.

The local government authority has organised a programme of entertainment and events designed to increase footfall and support traders in the lead up to Christmas.

Many of the events have a distinct retail focus, such as the Larne’s Discount Deals campaign.

Running from November 12-14 in conjunction with Larne Town Centre Partnership, the scheme aims to highlight the offers, discounts and promotions available in the town.

The festive season will kick off in earnest on Thursday, November 19 during the town centre Christmas lights switch-on.

Santa will be joining the Larne Alive Committee to get the Christmas festivities off to an extra special seasonal start.

Local schoolchildren will be offered the chance to take part in lantern making workshops.

Their creations will then feature in a lantern parade, helping to lead Santa around Larne town centre.

Community groups in the Larne area will also be asked to take part in the procession, which will feature floats and music.

Meanwhile, a “Win the Window” competition will be running from November 19 - December 17.

Shoppers will be given the chance to guess the value of items in a dedicated window with the closest (or correct) answer winning all the items.

The competition will be promoted in conjunction with Larne Town Centre Partnership, with the winner announced on December 18 - just in time to receive the goods for Christmas.

Throughout December, school choirs will be providing entertainment for town centre shoppers.

The groups will be based at Larne Town Hall as the Broadway area is currently unavailable due to public realm works.

Meanwhile,the festive season will be celebrated at Larne Market Yard on December 5 as part of Small Business Saturday promotions.

The event will have craft, gift and food stalls, Father Christmas and his reindeer, music and seasonal entertainment.

Saturdays December 5, 12 and 19 will see a range of Christmas character on walkabout in the town centre, adding to the atmosphere and providing photo opportunities for shoppers.

Speaking at Monday night’s meeting of the Economic Growth and Development Committee, chairperson Councillor Audrey Wales encouraged all elected members to attend festive events in their local areas.