‘Budding Bears’ take up residence in Ballymena

Pictured at the unveiling is Vice Chair of Ballymena BID, Andy Storey; Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor, Maureen Morrow and BID board member Alderman, Audrey Wales.
Pictured at the unveiling is Vice Chair of Ballymena BID, Andy Storey; Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor, Maureen Morrow and BID board member Alderman, Audrey Wales.

If you go down to Ballymena today, you are sure of a big surprise.

For three giant bears made entirely of miniature shrubs and plants have been unveiled in the town centre.

Fashioned to represent Bertie the Ballymena Bear, each impressive and colourful display is over two metres tall and planted out with seasonal foliage. The bears are positioned for maximum visual effect and public interaction at focal points in the town and can be found at Bryan Street, Harmony Hub and the William Street entrance to Fairhill Shopping Centre.

The enchanting displays have been installed by Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) to attract shoppers and visitors to the town.

The eye-catching displays have been welcomed by Mid and East Antrim Council which is actively supporting a wide range of activities to promote the town.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Maureen Morrow said: “These unique bear displays are really worth seeing. They add such a flair of colour and fun to our wonderful town centre. We hope many people will come along to Ballymena and’ paws’ to meet our new attractions.

“MEA council welcomes all initiatives that bring positive attention to our towns, improve and enhance our townscape and help promote our local businesses. We offer something different with our unique range of shops, cafes and restaurants and brings a positive vibe to the streets. That makes a visit to our welcoming town well worth the effort.”

Andy Storey, Vice Chair of the Ballymena BID said: “These three bears add a really fun element to the town landscape. They have been installed to make people smile, and we are confident they will be adored by young and old alike.

“People will love to have their photo taken with these bears to share on social media, sending out a vibrant message that Ballymena has a lot to offer. Planned events around the features will include Family Treasure Hunts, Selfie Competitions and more. The exciting arrival of the three bears is part of an ongoing, year-round program by BID to encourage people to come to Ballymena and enjoy its many unique amenities.”