Saddle up for Ballycastle’s festive Santa’s Pony Parade

Organisers and fundraisers get ready for the Christmas Pony Drive. INBM42-15 KMA
Organisers and fundraisers get ready for the Christmas Pony Drive. INBM42-15 KMA

Plans are already underway for Ballycastle’s annual Santa’s Festive Fancy Dress Parade taking place in the town in the first weekend of December.

The event committee met with local councillors recently to discuss their plans for the event which they hope will kickstart festive celebrations in the town.

The annual parade has become something of a tradition and an event that can be enjoyed by all the family. The parade will consist of horses and riders in festive dress, decorated dogs and much more!

“This year we want to make the pony parade bigger and better,” said founder member of the event committee, Nicole McGinn. “The horses are always the star of the show but we’d also love to invite others in the community to get involved too by dressing up their pets and themselves and joining in for what will be a great days craic for great charities.

“We started the event to raise funds and awareness of Motor Neurone Disease three years ago, so naturally we will stay true to that, but this year we’ll also collect for a sister charity, Rett Association of Ireland.”

Rett Syndrome is a childhood disease affecting brain development. It affects girls almost exclusively – affecting one in ten thousand births. Peggy McShane, niece of councillors Padraig and Cara McShane, is affected by the profoundly disabling condition.

Councillor Cara McShane said: “Aileen, Roisin and myself had a joint fundraiser for Rett and MND last year, so our family were very happy when invited to fundraise for Rett at the annual pony parade. I have known from previous years what a successful event this is. Christmas is a time for children and they always seem to throughly enjoy the parade of ponies and dogs.”Cl

“It’s also great to be able to raise awareness of rare and little-known diseases that affect people, like Peggy, in our community.

“We’d especially like to invite councillors from and participants from other parts of the new Causeway Coast and Glens council to come to Ballycastle and see what else the town has to offer,” said Cllr Paudi McShane.

We want you to join in!

If you would like to get involved with the festive parade contact Roisin McGinn, event chair, on 07938876837 or look for the event on Facebook ‘Santa’s Pony Parade, Ballycastle’.