Derry sparkles as curtain closes on a fabulous Halloween
01 November 2022
Derry Halloween drew to a sparkling close this evening with a thrilling fireworks display that illuminated the city as thousands gathered to celebrate the full return of the festival this year.
Early indications are that crowds over the weekend exceeded the 100,000 mark over the four days of the event, which delivered a fantastic programme of activities from Friday October 28th right through to Monday night despite the inclement conditions.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, thanked everyone for making this year a great success. “What can I say! I always look forward to Halloween but this year was particularly special, with the full return of our Carnival parade and all the Halloween trimmings. Although the weather presented some challenges throughout the weekend, it has been amazing and we just haven’t stopped.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this happen, all our partners and sponsors and of course the Council teams who work so hard all year round to deliver this huge event. A special thank you too to all the performers in the Carnival parade who brought the magical parade back to the streets last night, they were just amazing. It was a wonderful opportunity to get back together as a community, to do what we do best, and celebrate all that’s so good about this city and district.”
It’s estimated that over 30,000 people viewed the Carnival Parade and fireworks, and hotels were booked out over the weekend with visitors travelling from far and wide to share in the world class Derry Halloween experience.
The festivities began on Friday with the Awakening the Walled City Trail, an atmospheric trail of illumination and fire that wound throughout the city and Waterside. The Trail was curated this year by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama who delivered 28 captivating installations scattered across key sites in the City.
There were celebrations in Strabane throughout the weekend with street performers, live music, arts and crafts and fireworks, as well as special appearances by drumming sensations Spark and prehistoric favourites Saurus. This year the celebrations also spilled over into Donegal, with the Return of the Ancients transforming Swan Park.
Head of Culture with Council, Aeidin McCarter, said it had been a wonderful weekend for the city, and in particular local business. “We are delighted at the numbers of people who turned out to support our event despite the weather conditions. It’s been wonderful to welcome the Halloween Carnival Parade back after a three-year break, community involvement really is at the heart of this event, and it’s what has always made it so unique.
“We have gone through an incredibly difficult few years, and to see so many people back out sharing cultural experiences once again is particularly rewarding for us as a Council. The team here and all our partners have worked hard to ensure we’ve recaptured the essence of what has to be the city’s favourite event. We’re getting really positive feedback from our local businesses who rely on showcase events like this to boost business, particularly at quieter times of the year. The retail and hospitality industries have had to absorb some huge costs in recent years and as you could see from the shop and restaurant windows this week, everyone has really thrown themselves behind making the festival a success this year. It’s just been an amazing week.”
Derry Halloween is delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism NI, The Executive Office and the NW Development Office.