The remarkable contributions made by local businesses, schools, churches, community groups and individuals to bring an extra special touch to the Christmas season has been recognised in the Spirit of Christmas Awards. After receiving nearly 80 nominations, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council hosted the awards ceremony on 19 December 2023 in the Oriel Gallery at Antrim Castle Gardens. The winners were as follows;
Light Up Award – Awarded to Tidal, Toome for the magnificent illuminations at the Duneane Community Garden, which provided a spectacular experience for children and families within the community.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree Award – Awarded to Newtownabbey Women’s Group, for their efforts to bring Santa’s workshop and outdoor entertainment to the children and families of Rathcoole at their annual Switch On event held in the Dunanney Centre on Saturday 2 December.
Reason for the Season Award – Awarded to The Bridge Association, Antrim, for bringing festive sparkle to Castle Mall, Antrim with their wonderful window display. The group also provided festive treats at the Antrim Christmas Lights Switch On event on Thursday 23 November, with their own Quirky Choir providing entertainment within the Mall.
The Making an Entrance Award – Awarded to Pots of Pleasure, Ballyclare, for enhancing the festive spirit around The Square, by creating beautiful window displays, reminding us of what a traditional Christmas used to be.
Traditional Christmas Award – Awarded to Muckamore Parish Development Association for operating a Christmas Toy Scheme and giving out gifts to families in need. The group’s generosity and kindness makes Christmas extra special for many families within the community.
Eco Angels Award – Awarded to Creavery Primary School, for producing delightful festive decorations made from recycled materials, all of which will be dismantled or repurposed into building new bug hotel habitats or composted in the New Year.
Mayor’s Award – Awarded to David McCrea, Monkstown Community Association, for his dedication to fundraising and charitable work. This was presented to David during the group’s annual Christmas dinner last Friday.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper said “I am pleased to witness the positive impact of our community’s goodwill on residents within the Borough, resulting in an outstanding number of nominations for this year’s Spirit of Christmas Awards. I extend my gratitude to all the local businesses, schools, churches, community groups, and individuals for going above and beyond this Christmas season.”