Derry Halloween is ready to Awaken the Walled City with the return of its Halloween festival, writes Shauna McCrudden
The spooky season is upon us! If you’re looking for a fun and frightening festival, Derry~Londonderry is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere. It hosts a plethora of international festivals and events including Europe’s largest Halloween Festival. While Covid-19 may have rained on this year’s traditional Halloween parade and thus will not be taking place, Visit Derry is looking forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy Derry’s Spook’tacular Halloween extravaganza.
Entitled ‘Awakening the Walled City’, the Halloween celebrations will see an array of unforgettable sights, characters, and digital wonders take place at key locations from Friday 29th until Sunday 31st of October, between 5pm and 10pm.
Highlights of Derry Halloween will include several illuminated worlds spread across the city along with Ireland’s first-ever digital LED installation. The bespoke 360-degree structure will use film, animation, special effects, and augmented reality to create a spectacular light show that will enchant audiences with its striking visual display. The show lasts approximately eight minutes and will play continuously throughout the three evenings of the festival. There will also be magical storytelling, hidden spaces, and dazzling displays popping up throughout the city.
Odhran Dunne from Visit Derry says, “Recognised as the best Halloween destination in the world, Derry Halloween is a shared celebration of wonder and folklore, where the unbelievable seems believable for a few enchanted days and nights.”
Travel the ghostly world
To ensure no one misses any of the ghoulish goings-on, the city will play host to several fantastical and adventurous illuminated worlds. Each with its own programme of activity featuring a range of installations, large scale inflatables, aerial acrobatics, dancing flames, displays and animation.
Worlds One, Two and Three are in Derry City itself, while World Four is in neighbouring Strabane town centre, and World Five is in Buncrana, Co Donegal.
Event organisers, Derry City and Strabane District Council have plans in place to ensure this year’s Halloween celebrations are Covid-safe. Lots of open spaces allow for social distancing, enabling visitors to enjoy experiences at their leisure. Signage will give advice on how to ensure visitors safety and event staff will be on hand to remind people of the guidelines. There will be various one-way systems across the city and hand sanitation stations available.
Fancy-dress to impress
One thing the city residents, and visitors, do incredibly well every Halloween is dress to impress! Organisers are hoping that everyone gets into the spirit of Derry Halloween – mums, dads, the kids, friends, and even the dog! – and wears their funniest or scariest costumes. To join the spooky fun online, share your pics using #derryhalloween.
Odhran continues, “Derry~Londonderry is known for its love of Halloween and this year, we look forward to safely welcoming visitors over three thrilling days. Derry Halloween encapsulates all that makes the city special. And with a huge selection of experiences on offer across Derry~Londonderry, visitors will be spoilt for choice.
“Not only are they guaranteed the famous Derry~Londonderry warm welcome, but they will also enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. Along with the tastes and smells of the LegenDerry food scene and the opportunity to immerse themselves in our rich cultural heritage. There’s something to do for the whole family.
“With lots of surprises lurking around every corner, it’s great to see Derry Halloween return.”
For more information on Derry Halloween’s ‘Awakening the Walled City’ celebrations, visit derryhalloween.com or call Visit Derry on + 44 (0) 28 7137 7577
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