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Friday, April 23, 2021

Ballymoney spring fair goes ‘virtual’

Despite COVID-19 restriction and social distancing measures, Ballymoney is determined to still run the annual Spring Fair, this year taking the event ‘virtual’.

The virtual offering will involve a series of short videos showcasing the town and its surrounding areas.

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Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce and other partners to explore everything from local food and fashion to agriculture stories and the history of festivals, shows and events from days-gone-by.

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Starting from Thursday April 1, until Saturday April 3 each day at 4pm, the videos will be broadcast on the Facebook page of Causeway Coast and Glens Events.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding, said: “Ballymoney Spring Fair has been embraced in recent years as a not-to-be missed occasion.

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“While we’re hopeful that it will return to the town next year with its usual colour and carnival atmosphere, for now we want the public to stay safe and support this virtual experience instead. Our upcoming series of short films offer a special insight into the story of Ballymoney, a town we’re very proud of.

“I visited the area recently, and I’m pleased to see our Council staff have been working hard on spring flowerbeds which are a welcome sight while outdoor spaces like Riverside Park, the Trim Trail and Megaw Park remain open for your enjoyment in line with public health advice.

“Ballymoney is well-known for its high quality, independent retail offering, which you’ll get a glimpse of in the short films. It’s important that we all Shop Local so please continue to support those essential shops which remain open at this time, along with those offering click and collect services.”

“When restrictions ease, I hope you’re encouraged to visit for yourself and explore everything it has to offer from retail to recreation.”

As part of the online event, Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce will focus on local food and fashion, showcasing the town’s boutiques and a menu of mouth-watering delights to make at home.

Chamber President Winnie Mellett will be on hand to discuss this season’s style trends and you can look forward to spring fashion inspiration from lots of local independent retailers which will ensure the whole family is looking their best.

Spring meal times ideas will be shared by local chef Paul McClelland, as he shows us how to make a tasty meatloaf and chocolate delights to make at home and enjoy on a spring picnic. We’ll also showcase some of the hidden gems available in local delis and giftware shops.

Spring is a busy season in the North Antrim countryside with the arrival of cuddly chicks and little lambs so look out for an exploration of Rosepark Farm and a showcase of the vital services provided by Riding for the Disabled (RDA). There’ll also be a virtual visit to Shean’s Horse Farm where local farrier Brian Wall will show us how to make horse shoes as well as the art of hot shoeing. 

The videos will also showcase some of the more memorable days in Ballymoney. Narrated by BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Kerry McLean, there’ll be material from the Charlie McAfee collection and other archive footage from Council’s Museum Services team.

Video schedule

  • 1st April, 4pm: Celebration of Ballymoney’s family fairs through the years and virtual visits around local farms and agricultural providers.
  • 2nd April, 4pm: Spring Fashion Showcase by Ballymoney Chamber of Commerce.
  • 3rd April, 4pm: Local spring delights and food demonstrations.

The videos will also be shared on YouTube via the Causeway Coast and Glens events page.

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