Belfast Telegraph

Duncairn centre plays host to Santa and his reindeer for family fun day

By Sara Neill

Sleigh bells were heard ringing in north Belfast, as Santa arrived just in time for a Christmas family fun day.

The big man of the season was on hand on Sunday to greet children and take last-minute present requests, as well as checking who made his naughty or nice list.

The cross-community event was held at the Duncairn Culture and Arts Centre on the Antrim Road, just yards from the New Lodge estate.

The centre has been developed from out of a disused church complex that also formerly served as a secondhand furniture and antique store.

There was face painting and Santa's helpers gave out gifts to good girls and boys, as groups based across the area showcased the positive work that goes on in upper north Belfast throughout the year.

The former church, lit through beautiful stained glass windows, also opened its cafe for anyone who needed a rest and cup of coffee.

The sound of Christmas carols filled the air with music from five nearby singing groups.

That included St Malachy's Choir, Ben Madigan Prep School, St Patrick's Primary School, Glengormley School of Traditional Music and the Cavehill Community Choir.

With local traders taking part in the fair as well, it was a chance for visitors to snap up some more Christmas presents and learn more about some of the independent shops in the north Belfast area.

For the children of the area it was a welcome chance to get up close to a reindeer and fine-tune their Christmas present wish list with the big jolly guy in the red suit.

Belfast Telegraph

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