The Junction and Stoneworks celebrate as 'Spirit of Christmas' competition winners are crowned

ANTRIM and Newtownabbey Borough Council has helped spread some festive cheer with the announcement of the Spirit of Christmas Awards winners.

The Council wanted to recognise the efforts made by local businesses, schools, churches, community and voluntary groups at this special time of year by hosting the event.

Nominations were invited for the awards and numerous entries were received.

The Light Up Award for the Best Lit Town/Village/Street/precinct’ went to The Junction Retail and Leisure Park - for bringing joy and light to their customers during the festive season through their annual Christmas Festivity Programme and lighting displays.

The Rockin Around the Christmas Tree Award for Best programme of festive entertainment within a business or community setting went to Mallusk Community Action Group for their annual Village Christmas Lights Switch-On Event which included a carol service, musical entertainment, Santa’s Grotto, magic show and refreshments for all in attendance.

The Reason for the Season Award -the most festive school, church or community facility went to Ballyclare Primary School -for the organisation of an outdoor carol service, the creation of festive media clips which were shared on social media and the transformation of the school building into a Christmas Wonderland.

The Making an Entrance Award - the best dressed entrance feature or shop front went to The Glam Studio, Glengormley, for their well decorated salon and inviting entrance which has created a warm, joyful and magical experience for customers and those who pass by.

The Traditional Christmas Award, recognising acts of goodwill during the festive period, went to Stoneworks Sports and Well-Being Centre for their exceptional work within the community at this festive time of the year which includes fundraising for local charities, the collection and distribution of new toys to children in the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, collecting and distributing food and clothing to the homeless and promoting a pyjama appeal in association with Women’s Aid.

The North Star Award - Most outstanding Christmas display in the Borough went to Hill Croft School for the creation of a Knitted Christmas Tree which involved everyone within the school community, the festive decoration of every classroom door within the school building, the transformation of the school office into a gingerbread house, in class Christmas performances, a drive through Santa experience and a 12 days of Christmas competition.

The Mayors Award - Most outstanding Event - Chosen by the Mayor went to Whiteabbey Village Business Association for their Christmas Celebration Event and Lights Switch On which brought residents and businesses together at this festive time of the year.

The event included a craft fair, Santa bus, family entertainment and carol service.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb said: “It was great to see the many nominations for The Spirit of Christmas Awards.

“ I would like to thank the Council for recognising the hard work of our local businesses, schools, churches, community and voluntary groups through these awards and also the public for nominating them.”

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