Looking back... Busy week at Ballyclare festival

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A record number of competitors took part in Ballyclare Folk Dancing Festival in April 1965.

According to a report in the East Antirm Times, 1,500 Irish dancers competed in the four-day festival at the Intermediate School.

Participants ranged from “tiny tots bubbling with enthusiasm” to “more settled teenagers who might well have preferred to have been shaking it up at the local hop rather than prancing about on a stage.”

Dancers came from Larne, Ballymena, Portadown, Belfast, Portstewart, Newtownards and Ballymoney as well as Ballyclare to compete.

Adjudicator George Leonard, from Dublin, said: “I have to watch almost 750 dancers each day which is as hard a day’s work as I would wish for.”