Christmas Bazaar time in Antrim Parish came around again on Sunday past, much  to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd who flocked to St Joseph’s Hall to  sample the seasonal fare. Books, bags, beads and buns were plentiful among the  various stalls, which offered up great promise for the milling bargain hunters.

Younger members queued nervously outside Santa’s grotto in anticipation of an  interview with the great man, while those of more Santafied years were quite  content to relax with the welcome cup of tea, sweetmeat and chat.

Meanwhile the main action was taking place on stage, where an excellent array  of prizes had been assembled to attract the attention of the large attendance,  whose interest was stoked up by chief sales promoter Fr Sean Emerson.

Aided by his ‘spin doctor’ Eamonn Hill, he orchestrated a steady flow of  business  for the small army of ticket  sellers, who covered the hall, and, over the course of the afternoon, there was  much excitement each time the wheel slowly came to a halt. For some it was a  very rewarding experience, but regardless of how fortune shone, there were  plenty of smiling faces.

Fr Sean expressed his delight once again at the great attendance, and, while  the income to the Parish was always appreciated, the more satisfying benefit,  he felt, was the community and festive spirit which was so evident in the hall.  He paid tribute to the many volunteers who had combined to make everything flow  smoothly, and especially thanked all the local businesses and benefactors who  had contributed so generously to the day, and all those who had supported the  event by attending.