THE two week covid ‘circuit breaker’ – which starts this Friday – has led to a Christmas Market in Ballymena town centre having to axe a number of dates.
Council officials confirmed to ‘Ballymena Daily’ on Monday the Market will still go ahead but now only on three days after the end of the ‘circuit breaker’ period – which is scheduled to end on December 11.
A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our Christmas Markets in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus are going ahead as planned, but will remain under review and in line with NI Executive guidance.”
The Council confirmed the dates for the Ballymena Market now are Saturday 12 December 10am – 5pm, Sunday 13 December 1pm – 5pm and Monday 14 December 10am-4pm.
Original scheduled dates for the Market – due to be held at Greenvale Street – had been as follows: Thursday December 3 (noon-6pm); Friday December 4 (noon-6pm); Saturday December 5 (10am-5pm); Thursday December 10 (noon-6pm); Friday December 11 (noon-6pm); Saturday December 12 (10am-5pm); Sunday December 13 (noon-4pm).
Last week, we revealed dozens of potential stall holders have expressed an interest in taking part in the Christmas Markets.
A report given to councillors last week said ahead of the markets taking place government and local covid restrictions were being ‘constantly monitored’ by the Council to ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
The report added: ‘Market layouts have been developed with consultation with local businesses to ensure the markets do not impact on deliveries at one of the busiest times of the year.
‘Over 80 expressions of interest have been received from potential stall holders for the markets, demonstrating an appetite from the trade as well as consumers to provide some festive cheer in the town centres,’ according to last week’s report which was compiled ahead of the government’s announcement on Thursday.