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Mayor praises response to 'Stay at Home' Halloween message

02 November 2020
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Brian Tierney, today took the opportunity to thank local people for supporting the call to stay at home this Halloween in the campaign to drive down the cases of Covid-19 locally.
In recent days the numbers have seen a steady reduction in Derry and Strabane following the introduction of more stringent restrictions by the NI Executive after a significant spike in Covid cases locally.
Mayor Tierney last week issued a strong message for people to stay at home over the weekend in support of the Public Health Agency's call to avoid Halloween celebrations and social gatherings. This year Derry City and Strabane District Council cancelled its traditional on street celebrations which draw tens of thousands of visitors annually, and instead provided an alternative virtual programme of Halloween events and activities.
Today Cllr Tierney said that feedback from Council's partners in the wider community areas and the emergency services indicated that the majority of local people had heeded the warnings and stayed at home.
"Halloween was always going to be a challenge as the City and District has such a strong connection to the celebration and usually our message is to get out there and enjoy the festivities. This year we were asking people to stay at home, and I am pleased to say that message was taken on board by the majority of people.
"I know this would not have been easy for parents who had to tell children they couldn't trick or treat or visit friends and family as they normally would. But I think that these actions, if we can keep following the health guidance in the coming weeks, will greatly increase our chances of being able to come together at Christmas.
"I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts – and I ask once again that we keep up the momentum and keep the reducing the cases in our community. I also want to acknowledge the tremendous work of the Council team behind this year's online Halloween programme. A lot of thought and creativity went into providing an alternative experience to keep the spirit of Halloween alive and build anticipation for next year, when I hope we will be able to enjoy the festivities together once again."
This year's Derry Halloween and Strabane Halloween programmes featured a wide array of online activities for all ages, with tutorials, story-telling, live music sessions, how to classes and short films. Council's first virtual Halloween celebration retained its international appeal attracting audiences from the US, Germany, Canada, Italy, France, Netherlands, Spain and Australia, as well as Ireland and the UK. Early figures show that there were 51,439 event registrations and 141,290 video views over the course of the programme, and total page views of 90,362.
You can still view all the highlights at derryhalloween.com