Derry City Council have issued a fright warning as Halloween celebrations get underway in the city. The council has put out an advisory warning to the public and visitors to the city saying that it will not be unusual to see strange sights over the coming days and people should not be alarmed. Council have advised people to join in with the madness and celebrate the festival’s 25th anniversary in style.
The festival kicked off yesterday with a series of city centre and community based events and continues throughout the weekend and Monday. A spooky atmosphere can be felt throughout the streets as four days full of family fun, frolics and fireworks is set to unfold.
Encouraging the public to enjoy the event safely, Mayor Maurice Devenney said this year’s programme guaranteed an extra special 25th Anniversary celebration for all:
“I am really looking forward to welcoming locals and visitors to the city centre over the coming days. It’s great to be able to show off the city with such a diverse and creative festival which has evolved from the spirit of the people of this wonderful city.
"25 years later and it’s now a unique festival with international appeal and something to be very proud of.
"It’s wonderful to be able to see and meet so many people from all over the world enjoying the atmosphere and entertainment in our city. There really is something for everyone and I am particularly delighted to see an extended programme of entertainment for teenagers who have continued to celebrate responsibly and work well with event organisers.
"I would encourage the public to enjoy the festivities safely and sensibly and encourage parents to know the whereabouts of their children at all times. It’s important that we can all enjoy this festival in a safe manner and I would encourage people to adhere to the Carnival Care message.
"With hotels and B&B’s at high capacity over the weekend, it is also set to provide a much needed financial boost for the city. I would like to wish everyone involved in organising events across the city the very best and I look forward to having lots of fun this weekend.”
Three more days of magical family friendly activities now lay ahead with a wide range of unique outdoor shows, storytelling, sports events and ghostbuster tours meaning there is something for everyone.
Outdoor entertainment at the Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place includes speciality Walled City Markets, live music, arts and street performances. Large scale characters from other worlds including the Praying Mantas, the Heron and Short Ships will be on walkabout to delight and enthral all ages.
The spell of Halloween will see St Columb’s Hall transformed into an amazing Hall of Horrors with wonderful acts for all ages from the mind blowing Bruce Airhead to the weird and wonderful Witches Three.
Music lovers should be freaked out with a line up of events that includes a special Teenage Spooks stage at the Guildhall, Paddy Nash & the Happy Enchilladas, Gay Mc Intyre, da Funk Asylum, Mindbenders and more.
Electronic music fans will be blown away by a Deep Fried Funk line up at The Nerve Centre which would blow the cob webs off any skeleton including Matt Tolfrey (Leftroom), Kyle Hall (Wild Oats-Detroit), Space Dimension Controller (R&S), Psycatron (Live).
The festival weekend will come to a magical conclusion on Monday evening with top musical performances from Paul Casey, Belle Amie, and Killers of Leon live in Guildhall Square.
The “Carnival of Light” parade with a special Silver theme to mark the 25th Anniversary is followed by a spectacular riverside fireworks display lighting up the night sky in a riot of colours visible from miles around.
Celebrations will continue into the night with balls, discos and banquets taking place across venues in the city on Monday night.
To view full details of the Halloween programme click on www.derrycity.gov.uk/halloween. Contact the Festivals Office directly on (028) 7137 6545 for further information or follow us on Facebook.
The Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival is organised and funded by Derry City Council with the support of NITB, Ilex URC and the Taxi Company, Derry.