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Revellers live it up at Newtownabbey hoedown

By Amanda Poole

Stetsons and cowboy boots proved all the rage in Newtownabbey at the weekend as the borough hosted its first Uptown Hoedown.

Up to 5,000 guys and gals moseyed on down to the three-day Country and Western Festival in Glengormley.

With a senior shindig and hotdog hoedown at Barron Hall, plus Saturday's all-day family event at Glengormley Park, there was much knee slappin' and toe tappin' at the sun-soaked festival, celebrating all things country.

Brian and Barbara Walker from Dance Unlimited in Larne were on hand to give line dancing lessons.

Barbara said: “Today has been wonderful. Women are always keen to get in to the spirit of things, but the men can be a bit shy.

“Up in Strabane you couldn't keep the men in their seats but as the day has gone on, more of Glengormley's men have been coaxed into getting involved.”

American-style food stalls kept hungry revellers happy and the family fun-zone featuring inflatables and crafts workshops proved popular with the kids.

Leanne Hutchins was at the park with her mother Ann and son Ryan (4). “I love listening to a bit of Dolly Parton and it's been really brilliant fun for the kids,” she said.

Country music was provided by acts including Louisiana Joyride, Gary Gamble Country Jamboree and the Johnny Cash tribute band, JP Mac.

Newtownabbey Mayor Paula Bradley said: “The fabulous weather has really brought people out and I have loved the music.”

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