Last week kicked off the festive season in the Parish of Antrim, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd who flocked to St Joseph’s Hall to sample the seasonal fare.
Books, bags, bottles and buns were plentiful among the various stalls, which offered up great promise for the milling bargain hunters.
Younger members queued nervously outside Santa’s grotto in anticipation of an interview with the great man, while those of more Santafied years were quite content to relax with the welcome cup of tea, sweetmeat and chat.
Meanwhile the main action was taking place on stage, where an excellent array of prizes had been assembled to attract the attention of the large attendance, whose interest was stoked up by chief sales promoter Fr. Sean Emerson.
Aided by Eamonn Hill, he orchestrated a steady flow of business for the small army of ticket sellers, who covered the hall, and, over the course of the afternoon, there was much excitement each time the wheel slowly came to a halt.
For some it was a very rewarding experience, but regardless of how fortune shone, there were plenty of smiling faces.
Father Sean expressed his delight once again at the great attendance, and, while the income to the Parish was always appreciated, the more satisfying benefit, he felt, was the community and festive spirit which was so evident in the hall.
He paid tribute to the many volunteers who had combined to make everything flow smoothly, and especially thanked all the local businesses and benefactors who had contributed so generously to the day, and all those who had supported the event by attending.