HOT STUFF!

NORTH Antrim is bracing itself for an action-packed week of celebrations and key events.

Locals will be out in force for the much-anticipated arrival of the Olympic Torch as it makes its way through the Ballymoney area and Moyle as part of its UK-wide expedition.

And thousands will toast the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with street parties and scores of other bashes in honour of Her Majesty taking place.

Community grants have been snapped up by residents’ groups to deck out their areas, giving them a regal feel, as well as laying on entertainment.

As if those historic events weren’t reason enough to put a smile on locals’ faces, The Ballymoney Show also takes place as does the highly prestigious County Antrim Pipe Band Championships.

The village which looks set to be partying hardest of all is Dervock.

It will host Jubilee celebrations, the torch procession and anniversary bashes to mark the centenary of its most famous son - Olympic gold medal winner Kennedy Kane McArthur.

A number of residents have been snapping up Edwardian period clothes and plan to raise their hats as the torch passes as a tribute to McArthur.

An amazing number of events have been planned in Moyle to mark the Olympic torch celebrations and schools across the area are gearing up to celebrate the Jubilee.

North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey said:

“It promises to be a fantastic time for north Antrim.

“The Jubilee, the KK McArthur centenary and the torch ceremony really do represent momentous times.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s 60th anniversary.”

Mr Storey added: “For over 10 years I have been campaigning at council and then Assembly level regarding Kennedy Kane McArthur.

“We had to ensure KK was part and parcel of the Olympic celebrations.

“It will be very much a dual celebration for one of our greatest sons.”

See inside for all the details.