How enchanting! Winter Garden is all set for return

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The Enchanted Winter Garden is set to return to Antrim’s Castle Gardens after councillors gave the green light to the event last week.

For the third year running, the Enchanted Winter Garden will turn the Castle Gardens into a winter wonderland in the run up to Christmas.

The free event will run from Saturday, December 12 until Sunday, December 20, from 4pm to 8pm daily, including weekends.

At Monday night’s Operations Committee of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, councillors heard proposals for this year’s event with an enhanced programme planned.

Ursula Fay, Head of Arts & Culture, said council officers wanted to build on the success of last year’s event.

In a report presented to councillors, it outlined that this year’s event will feature an installation of light within Clotworthy Courtyard which then leads through the large Parterre before guiding visitors back into Clotworthy House

along the river.

The report adds: “Trees, buildings and natural features will be flooded with light to create a magical transformation of the gardens into a breath-taking Christmas scene.”

A range of street theatre acts and artists, including the Wish List Elf and the Elves Who Forgot the Christmas List will be performing in the Parterre each of the weekends.

The Hornbeam Grove will transform into the Forest of Fire where Fire Entertainers will amaze visitors each weekend.

Santa’s Grotto, a special Christmas Train, the reindeer trail, festive fayre, drinks and seasonal gifts will be available throughout the event area daily and within the Courtyard there will be range of festive food and drinks

Welcoming the news, and proposing council move forward with the plans, Councillor Neil Kelly commended council staff for organising the event.

He added: “Free admission means this is available to everybody.”

Cllr. Kelly’s proposal was seconded by Cllr. Drew Ritchie and agreed by the committee.