Mid and Eat Antrim Halloween events face cancellation unless restrictions ease

Halloween events in Mid and East Antrim could be cancelled unless Covid -19 restrictions on public gatherings are eased.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 11:33 am

In recent years, family events have been held annually at People’s Park in Ballymena and at Carnfunnock Country Park outside Larne (read more here).

A programme of activities is being planned for both venues with entry limited by ticket numbers.

Entertainment being planned for the Ballymena event includes animation, storytellers, music and acrobats but there are no plans for a fireworks display.

However, the council has been told that “unless the threshold for crowd numbers is increased by the Executive, the event will not take place and given the tight time frame, the decision to cancel plans or progress will be made by the end of September”.

At Carnfunnock, arts-themed activities are planned as well as a carousel, live performances, story-telling, music and a dramatic “fire finale”.

This event is also facing cancellation depending on “health guidelines at the time”. Events can only go ahead if they are strictly in line with public health guidelines.

Alternatively, the council has been advised that proceedings could be moved online.

A Halloween scheme offering sports and activities for schoolchildren during the half-term holiday is already planned for online.

A number of events due to be held in Mid and East Antrim in August had to be postponed including the Siege of Carrickfergus re-enactment and 150th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Park.

However, other key events such as VE Day and VJ Day commemorations and Dalriada Festival (read more here) were held online which have been described as “extremely successful to date”.

Councillors have been told the local authority’s Facebook channel has increased by two million compared to the same period last year.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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