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Hay Bales bring spooky Halloween spirit to Bready, Artigarvan and Strabane

20 October 2020

Look out for some scary sights around Strabane and the surrounding areas as the infamous Halloween Hay Bales have returned.

Based in various locations including Bready, Artigarvan and Strabane, these spooky straw sculptures are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Sites include the cow and scarecrow farmer at New Horizons on Derry Road where the team of trainees have paid homage to the hard work of our farmers during this difficult pandemic. Recycled milk bottles fill the wheelbarrow display to promote the reuse of plastics, and the clothes, paint and wood used is all from local shops to help support businesses during this diffic​ult period.

In Bready, volunteers and dancers from Sollus Highland Dancers have produced a combination of hay bales, scarecrows, witches and pumpkins, with a touch of tartan to show the strong Ulster-Scots links in the area.

These are just two of the highlights of the many fantastic hay bales on display. Public health and safety is the top priority, so people are asked not to gather in large crowds and to maintain social distancing if visiting the hay bales.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said that enjoying the festive attractions safely was the most important.

"The Halloween Hay Sculptures are a staple of the Strabane Halloween programme and I'm sure many will be excited to see them return, but I would also ask everyone to be conscious of the guidelines in place.

"Things are very different this year and we really don't want to see crowds gathering in any one location. The sculptures are there to be enjoyed by people in the local area to capture the spirit of Halloween. Given that the sculptures are spread out in many different places I would ask everyone to visit one within their local vicinity and to ensure they are following all of the guidelines in place, including social distancing and staying within your family bubble.

"Our Halloween team are still constantly reviewing our programme to ensure everything prioritises public health and safety, and we will continue to do that in the weeks ahead so, please, enjoy the attractions but, most importantly, do so safely."

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be plenty of online activity for all of the witches and wizards to get involved in.

The Alley Theatre will be hosting some Spooky Stories with Stor on October 28th and 29th, so keep an eye out for the thrilling tales as Stor tries to escape the ghosties and ghoulies, while the Time to Prepare workshops from the North West Carnival Initiative will show you how to make your own lantern and put together a creepy costume from materials found around your own home. NWCI have also installed community light installations in Strabane to bring Halloween to life!

Strabane BID are hosting a Dress Shop Window Competition to bring out the frightening Halloween spirit, and pumpkin patches will be open in Castlederg and Artigarvan for your carving needs – with strict social distancing in place.

Nightmare on Dock Street will take place later this month, while in Newtownstewart local community, schools, clubs & businesses have been invited to build a scarecrow to be displayed in Newtownstewart and the surrounding rural areas over the Halloween weekend.

For more on the Strabane Halloween programme, visit https://derryhalloween.com/strabane-halloween