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Hallowe’en celebrations begin in style Under the Samhain Moon

30 October 2017

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, has praised everyone involved in making the beginning of the 2017 Hallowe’en Festival such a success locally.

Tens of thousands of revellers flocked to Derry and Strabane over the weekend to take in the packed programme of events that will climax with tomorrow night’s parades and fireworks displays.

“I would like to congratulate the Festival and Events team at Council and all their partners in helping make the start of this year’s Hallowe’en celebrations a weekend to remember,” said Mayor McHugh.

“The programme has brought tens of thousands of local people and visitors from all over the world to our streets and venues and brought a palpable feel good factor to the City and District.

“It’s easy to see why we have a global reputation as the best venue in the world to celebrate the festival and I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Hallowe’en as celebrations continue over the coming days.”

Head of Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Aeidin McCarter, praised the joined up approach of their agency and community partners for the festival’s smooth running.

“We have been delighted with the feedback from the public who have again backed our programme by attending in their hordes over the weekend,” she said.

“The festival has taken months of planning and coordination with our agency and community partners but the strong working relationship between all those groups helps make our Hallowe’en celebrations such a captivating and memorable experience for everyone.

“This year’s programme was particularly ambitious, with many of the main events running for four days over the weekend and into this week.

“A wide range of performances and activities are planned for today and Hallowe’en day, culminating in the parade and fireworks displays and a full listing can be accessed on our websites derryhalloween.com and strabanehalloween.com.”

Among the highlights over the weekend were the performances of Awakening the Walls on Derry’s walls, the illuminated street drummers Spark and the acclaimed Museum of the Moon artwork in the Guildhall’s Main Hall which all continue today.

Family Fun activities will also continue in the Craft Village where a wide range of Family Fun activities including Kids Planet Crafting and Spooky Chocolate Workshops, face painting and live music are on offer.

Hallowe’en themed events will also took place all around the city including Frightful Family Fun at Creggan Country Park, City Cemetery Tours, the Sbooky Hallowe’en Festival at Foyleside Shopping Centre, Little Horrors at the Guildhall and a Legenderry Game of Thrones Tour.
Highlights over the weekend in Strabane included the Castlederg Apple Fair on Friday where a Scottish Ceilidh Band Whiskey Kiss thrilled the crowds with a high octane performance before the town hosted its annual piping festival on Saturday afternoon.
The Strabane Halloween Market at the Alley Court Yard also attracted large crowds keen to sample the best of local food and craft producers while the Alley Theatre will host Trick or Treat Tours and Monstor Movies on Hallowe’en Day.
A particularly popular addition to this year’s festivities in the Strabane district is the Hallowe’en Hay Trail which features hay sculptures in a number of rural communities including Strabane, Donemana, Plumbridge, Newtownstewart, Victoria Bridge and Castlederg.

With tens of thousands expected in the city to enjoy the celebrations on October 31st the public are advised there may be some disruptions to traffic and travel in and around the city centre.

A number of car park and road closures will be put in place to ensure public safety and viewing of the main carnival parade, which this year will have an extended route beginning from 7pm.

Translink have confirmed that there will be some disruption to their services around any road closures. Translink bus information can be found at www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables.

Further updates to travel arrangements will be made available via local radio stations such as Radio Foyle, Q102, Downtown and Cool FM throughout the day.

“As always we expect a significant number of visitors to the city to make the most of the festivities on offer,” said PSNI Chief Inspector Ivor Morton.

“We are here alongside the event organisers to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

“If you are staying on to enjoy the nightlife on offer then please drink responsibly, have respect for others and make sure you get home safely.”

Access and inclusion information around the parade is available from Louise Boyce via email at [email protected] or telephone 028 7125 3253, Ext 4349. Information is also available at www.derrystrabane.com/inclusion.

Halloween in Derry is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism NI Events Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

Further details on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Halloween Celebrations and Strabane’s traffic arrangements can be found at www.derryhalloween.com.