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Characters and creatures form 'Hay-mazing' Halloween Trail

18 October 2021

The Halloween spirit has taken hold as the Halloween Hay Sculpture Trail returns for another year of characters that you may know, but in a way that you have never seen them before.

The ever-popular hay trail launched on Friday 15th October and will run until Halloween night. It involves schools, community groups, and businesses across Strabane and surrounding villages transforming hay bales into creative and colourful characters and creatures that will get you into the mood for the spooky season.

Whether you want to visit The Gruffalo in Bready, Little Miss Muffet in Glenmornan, the Hungry Caterpillar at Plumbridge, or The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe at Killeter, Castlederg – there are lots of amazing sights to visit across 12 different locations.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said the trail is a celebration of communities working together and is one not to be missed for families in the lead up to Halloween.

"The Halloween Hay Sculpture Trail is a much-loved feature of our programme and I'm delighted to see it back this year with lots of exceptional hay bale creations.

"Not only is there plenty to see in Strabane, but it's also great to have surrounding villages like Bready and Castlederg taking part as well.

"Another great aspect of the Hay Sculpture Trail is the community spirit and teamwork that goes into making this all happen. It wouldn't be possible without so many of our local schools, community groups, businesses, and our young people working together.

"We are also conscious of COVID-19 guidelines, so the hay bales are spread out over 12 different locations to avoid any crowds, and I would ask everyone to please be mindful of social distancing and give space to other visitors not in your group. I'd also ask everyone to be mindful of parking when visiting the trail to ensure they aren't blocking main roads or pavements. If we follow the guidelines, then everyone can enjoy this fantastic trail safely."

As part of the Hay Sculpture Trail, Early Years and Transition students from North West Regional College have worked in conjunction with primary school pupils from St Catherine's PS, St Mary's PS, Strabane PS and Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh to create hay bale designs inspired by children's films, displayed at NWRC's Strabane campus.

NWRC Strabane Campus Manager Gillian Moss said: "This has been a fantastic opportunity for our staff and students to work with young people and to participate in an event that will involve so many people within the local community. Our students have been delighted to team-up with pupils from all local the schools and have really enjoyed the experience.  Our College is committed to engaging with young people in the area and we hope to continue working on projects similar to this.  This is an amazing project which we are once again happy to support and which I have no doubt will add to the excitement of this year's Halloween celebrations in Strabane."

The Drummond Centre Project Ltd, in conjunction with 'The Coup', Donemana, have also worked with local young people as part of the project. Children from the village youth centre, Donemana PS and St Michaels PS assisted the art tutor with the design of the hay bales which have transformed the playing fields in the village under the theme 'How to train your Dragon - Minion Style'.

David Buchanan, Managing Director from The Drummond Centre Project Ltd, said: "This event and the planning around it has been a huge success involving the whole community and we're really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Berryhill Road playing fields to view the final creations. Not only has this been a great project for the children involved in terms of working as a team, but it has also allowed them to explore their own creativity, to come up with some great ideas and to help turn those ideas into a reality.

"If anyone needs further details or directions they can contact The Drummond Centre on Facebook, call 02871397757 or email [email protected]"

Derry Halloween is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism Northern Ireland, the Executive Office, Translink, Donegal County Council and the North West Development Fund.

For more information on the Strabane Halloween Hay Sculpture Trail and the full Halloween programme, visit derryhalloween.com