They’re a regular feature at every Hallowe’en carnival in this city, and this year will be no different for the dedicated young people of the Greater Shantallow Community Arts group.
Over the past two months, behind closed doors, a team of up to 60 participants including designers, dancers and choreographers have been putting the finishing touches to their custom made float for this year’s Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival.
With a theme based around the Deathly Hallows, the centrepiece is a coach created by local man Billy McGreanery who has worked non stop in completing the showstopping and dark carriage which will come alive with carnival participants as it makes its way through the city centre on Wednesday.
Helping organise the effort is GSCA’s youth co-ordinator Marty McGranaghan. He’s delighted with the effort put in by everyone and says the Deathly Hallows display is a must see for spectators on Hallowe’en Night.
“We’ll have the headless horseman up front and plenty of people hanging out from the side of the coach,” he says,
“We’re really proud of the coach itself which has been built up from scratch by Billy, who’s done a brilliant job.”
Marty has also commended local young people for making the effort to take part.
“There’s been a build up at our Studio2 facility in Skeoge over the last month or two and recently we’ve been meeting twice a week to put together the finishing touches. Now we’re really pleased with how things are coming together. We have all the children from local dance group Streetfeet in Victorian costume choreographed by Irena Melly so it will look fantastic.”
Marty says all the young people at the popular local arts centre are energised ahead of Derry’s year as City of Culture and will have plenty to keep them occupied even after the Hallowe’en Carnival.
“Greater Shantallow Community Arts has been a big supporter of the culture bid from the very start and as it edges closer to 2013 we’re really excited about what lies ahead during that year,” he says.
“We feel there’s a real chance for us to showcase the talent we have here in the Outer North area and we want to get involved in as much as possible to ensure that we can put that on display for the world. We have our own Amelia Earhart Festival and we also play a big part in the St Patrick’s Day Carnival and other festivities throughout the year. We’ll be putting in as much passion and enthusiasm as we do every year but it definitely will be a very special atmposphere during 2013.”
Focusing firmly on Hallowe’en in the short term, Marty’s determined that everyone who turns up on Wednesday evening will have a great time.
“For us there’s been a lot of planning and a few headaches along the way but it will all be worth it to see our coach as part of the parade on Wednesday. Everything, from the costumes to the craftsmanship is a real example of the talent that exists in our area.”
For more information about this year’s Halloween Festival go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/halloween or follow all the fun on Facebook at www.facebook.com/banksofthefoylehalloweencarnival