Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

On the grapevine - December 1

HOLYWOOD

Festive fun day and switch on

Holywood Festive Fun Day and Christmas Lights switch-on takes place this Saturday, December 4. Events take place on the High Street from 10am to 6pm (times for the different activities will vary).

A free event, this seasonal family treat will host a Speciality Market from noon until 6pm. There will also be Christmas-themed workshops in the library demonstrating anything from gift wrapping, Christmas baking and floral displays to how to revamp your wardrobe for the festive season from 10am to 4pm.

Light Fantastic, a contemporary choir of local schools, will be performing in the lead-up to the turning on of the Christmas Tree lights outside the library at 4.30pm. A great day out for all the family — come celebrate the season in Holywood. For info contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 or visit: www.northdowntourism.com.

ARDS

Over 50? then take the dance to the floor

Over-50s in Ards are being invited to take to the dance floor today (Wednesday, December 1) at the annual Christmas tea dance in the Queen’s Hall, Newtownards, from 2pm to 5pm.

“The annual Christmas Tea Dance has turned into something of a tradition now in Ards and I’m delighted to be supporting an event which gives over 50s a great afternoon out — a chance to socialise and to remember times gone by — and all at no cost,” said Councillor Smyth. “Thanks, as always, go to the sponsors and the East Down Rural Community Network whose funding and work makes the day possible. I have no doubt this year’s dance will prove to be popular.”

Co-ordinated by the East Down Rural Community Network, the dance will feature good music, good company and refreshments, all free to residents of Ards. To find out more, contact Sandra Henderson at the East Down Rural |Community Network, on 028 9182 8884.

NORTH DOWN

Cycle friendly

Campaigners from Friends of the Earth, North Down and Ards local group, will host a public meeting tomorrow (Thursday, December 2), at which they will make the case for more measures to encourage cycling across the borough.

The meeting, which takes place from 7.30pm at the Marine Court Hotel, Bangor, will include keynote addresses from Patricia Wallace of Sustrans and Andrew McMurray, co-ordinator of the Belfast Cycle City campaign.

Speaking on behalf of Friends of the Earth, Andrew Muir said: “We believe that the whole of north Down could benefit from better provision for cyclists. Imagine, not just the improvement in public health and reduction in traffic, but the tourism potential of making cycling quicker, safer, easier and more enjoyable in this area.”

“We want to explore the possibility of opening up cycle routes to connect all the communities between Holywood and Groomsport. We invite everyone to come along and contribute to this discussion. This is about our borough taking the lead on sustainable transport in Northern Ireland and we want to hear what you have to say on the subject.”

Admission is free and tea and coffee will be provided. There will also be a raffle at the event.

For more information, contact Andrew Muir on 07813 945 411 or email: mail@andrewmuir.net.|

BANGOR

Orchestral christmas

The Ulster Orchestra will play a Christmas concert at Bangor Castle Leisure Centre tomorrow (Thursday December 2) at 8pm.

Tickets cost £14 (£12 concession). For info and tickets contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on 028 9127 0069 or North Down Museum on 028 9127 1200.

EAST BELFAST

Streamvale christmas

Streamvale Farm’s Christmas Experience is a huge hit every year, with Santa drawing great crowds to his cosy cottage.

The fun starts with a ride in the big Tractor and Trailer, where an elf tells an exciting story about Santa and Rudolph.

Then head off for a walk through the trees to find deer and past the life-sized nativity scene and round the farmyard with its Christmas animals. Next, go into the Santa Barn to make reindeer food to take home for Christmas Eve and then pop in to see Santa and get your pressie!

It’s a fully guided tour and lasts one hour. You need to wrap up warm and don’t forget to bring your camera for lots of wonderful memories.

Streamvale Farm, at 38 Ballyhanwood Road, Dundonald, is open from December 1 to 23 for groups and parties. Family bookings are the first two weekends and then from December to 23 from 2pm to 7pm. Adults £6, children £9. For details call 9048 3244.

CITY CENTRE

Creative christmas at BMC

Christmas comes early to Belfast Metropolitan College when it opens its doors to the public next Wednesday (December 8) for its annual Christmas Fair from 10am to 4pm.

Entrepreneurial students from a range of full and part-time courses will be setting up stalls in College Square East’s Central Hall to sell their products and services. Over 30 stalls will exhibit a range of homemade produce, handmade jewellery, original artwork, crafts, cards and gifts.

Students from the Fashion Management degree programme will be selling vintage fashion and handmade accessories while professional cookery students have the Christmas catering covered, selling Christmas cakes, artisan breads, tapenades, chutneys and more.

Proceeds from the fair will support various charities locally and internationally, including the Northern Ireland Hospice, the USPCA and this year’s college- supported campaign to build a school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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