St Jude’s Parish Church, Muckamore, ran a week of family activities for the community of Ballycraigy in the days leading up to the lighting of the huge Eleventh Night Ballycraigy bonfire.
Organised by Muckamore Parish Development Association, and focused on the Ballycraigy Estate, the Ballycraigy Summer Festival included football coaching every morning, with evening activities such as a car treasure hunt, an all age sports night and an outdoor movie night.
On Thursday July 7, there was a parade from the bonfire site to open the Ballycraigy Road Arch, led by members of the Ballycraigy Old Boys Flute Band with local Orange Order members involved in the parade.
The Summer Festival closed with a fireworks display on Friday July 8.
The rector of Muckamore, Killead and Gartree, the Rev William Orr said people came from far and wide to watch the Ballycraigy bonfire burn. “The local church and local community have been very involved in trying to ensure that the bonfire becomes an all age family thing. Local people have been very happy that the church has been involved in the Festival Week,” he said.
Paul Dunlop, vice chairman of the MPDA, organised the children’s football coaching which took place all week in Ballycraigy Primary School. Coaching was by Soccer Society, and 20-25 girls and boys attended each day. “They all enjoyed themselves and on the Friday morning received a medal and certificate so they all went home happy,” Paul said.
Paul, who came on board MPDA as a community representative, said planning for next year’s summer festival would get underway as soon as this year’s ended. “I would say to anybody who is interested to come on board and support their local church,” Paul said.