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River Gods to Rise in Derry this Hallowe’en

07 October 2015

It’s that time of year again – and the City of Bones is gearing itself up for the best Hallowe’en yet with a packed programme of events for revellers of all ages, launched today by the Mayor of Derry  City and Strabane District.


As the city waits with bated breath to see if it tops the poll as the best Hallowe’en destination in the world, details of the much anticipated carnival programme have finally been revealed. This year sees the Rise of the murky and mysterious River Gods who will stalk the streets for the duration of the festival before their final appearance at the huge Carnival parade and fireworks finale on Hallowe’en night. And there’s plenty of entertainment planned in the days leading into the festival to keep your little ghouls occupied as the schools close their doors for the holidays.

Speaking at the launch the Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she couldn’t wait to see the start of the festivities. “This year we have a fantastic line up of events for all ages and I know the events team have come up with some great new ideas. The celebrations will be taking place at venues right across the city so everyone can join in the fun, and we’re expecting an influx of visitors from far and wide, especially as Halloween is on a Saturday this year.

“Derry still holds first position in the USA Today top ten Hallowe’en destinations poll and votes can be registered right up until October 12. I would really encourage everyone to vote each day and secure Derry’s place as the number one place to visit for Halloween – we’ve known it for years, now it’s time to let the rest of the world in on the secret.”

Council’s Festivals and Events Manager Karan Leonard said: “Preparations are well underway and we have over 600 carnival participants taking part in workshops and rehearsals across the district for the main event. This year’s Rise of the River Gods theme has both historic links with the city and a multi-cultural element which will bring together communities in a colourful celebration for all to enjoy. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together.”

This year sees the return of some of some fiendish festival favourites including the Chateau le Fear which brings a Trail of Terror to Ebrington for two weeks from October 16th – November 1st.
The Guildhall Square will be a hive of entertainment and activity, with the Boneshakers Bandstand in full swing from Thursday October 29th featuring family fun shows and live music right through until Saturday. The Square will be overrun with prehistoric creatures, while the Guildhall will provide the stage for the hilarious antics of Bruce Airhead, the Witches, and the Armagh Rhymers.

The city’s historic walls will be brought to life for the mysterious and magical Awakening of the Walls which will transport visitors to another realm of fantasy and fire for two nights on October 29th and 30th.

Why not get in the mood for some gruesome goings on at the gothic organ recitals showcasing some terrifying tunes in the ghostly Guildhall on October 30th.  And forget Dawn of the Dead, Derry will be celebrating Dia de los Muertes – the Day of the Dead - in the Craft Village with the Rio Bravo Fiesta, featuring music, markets and Mexican fun.

If that’s not enough to get you in the Hallowe’en spirit, there will be spooky story-telling sessions, creepy creatures at the Riverwatch Aquarium, gothic balls and ghoulish ghost tours taking place at venues across the district.
And there will be plenty of ghostly activity in Strabane in the lead up to the big night, with children’s workshops in the Alley Theatre and Strabane community library, as well as trick or treat tours around the town and a pool disco in Riversdale Leisure Centre. The events build up to a spectacular evening of family fun and entertainment and a fireworks finale over the Mourne on Halloween night.

To find out more about all the events taking place in the City of Bones throughout Hallowe’en check out the full programme at www.derrystrabane.com/halloween

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