Air and Army Cadets were out in force in Cullybackey at the weekend as the village celebrated American Independence Day.
The young people from the Ballymena 2349 Air Training Corp (ATC) & Cullybackey Army Cadets Force (ACF), 1st Battalion collaborated to set up and run a stall to drum up recruits to the organisations.
Their stall showcased the many activities provided by Air and Army Cadets from Gliding to Kayaking while cadets also ‘gathered the garbage’ at the celebrations in the village.
Their activities were part of the successful event run by the Cullybackey Development Assoication (CDA) which included a duck race, various Traditional Musicans and Dancers, BBQ and Disco on the Friday evening at Cullybackey College. The celebrations continued on the Saturday at Arthur Cottage - the ancestral home of Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President of the United States - with various other events including, teddy bears picnic, climbing wall, archery, assault course and rodeo bull with a vintage rally through the village.
Bertie McNeilly from CDA said: “It was a spectacular weekend, with plenty to enjoy, celebrate and do. The youth organisations involvement encourages community ownership and pride.
“It was great to see the local cadets litter picking on the Friday evening and 1st Cullybackey Scouts doing the same on Saturday.”
Members of the cadets treated the Mayor Cllr Billy Ashe and Deputy Mayor Timothy Gaston of Mid And East Antrim Borough Council to a “Camming up” demonstration.
Deputy Mayor Timothy Gaston said afterwards: “It’s great to get young people from the Air and Army Cadets involved in the festival.”
Taking part also helped cadets towards their Proficiency Certificate which includes cadets planning and taking part in community projects while for others this also provides part of their volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award which is also carried out through both Cadet Forces.
The cadets made new friendships between the two organisations and after the festival, encouraged each other to pick up pieces of litter that had been overlooked.
With bags of rubbish being collected, the young people who took part where rewarded with a barbeque provided by the CDA at the end of the night.
A spokesperson for the cadets added: “Both Cullybackey ACF and Ballymena ATC are proud to play their role in the community and would like to thank the CDA for their invite to this event.