It’s official: Hallowe’en 2015 was biggest ever

Fireworks explode over the River Foyle as Derry-Londonderry celebrated Hallowe'en with a carnival and pyrotechnic display on saturday night. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15
Fireworks explode over the River Foyle as Derry-Londonderry celebrated Hallowe'en with a carnival and pyrotechnic display on saturday night. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15
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It has now been confirmed that over 50,000 people gathered for this year’s Halloween carnival and festivities over the weekend, making it the biggest in Derry’s history.

People travelled from across Ireland and even the USA and Sweden to join local people at the celebrations in Derry on Saturday night.

The Rise of the River Gods parade and festival has been branded an “amazing success” for city and district by its organisers Derry and Strabane District Council and the North West Carnival Initiative.

Hundreds of people have been working for months to create the spectacular floats and carnival creations on show, while the unseasonably warm and dry weather also helped bring the crowds out.

For the parade itself, more than 30,000 costumed revellers thronged the streets of the city to watch the ‘Rise of the River Gods’ carnival parade, followed by the Fireworks Finale which lit up the night skyline along the Quay.

Heralding the Hallowe’en celebrations as a “phenomenal success”, the Mayor of Derry and Strabane Elisha McCallion, said the record numbers of carnival parade participants and visitors had surpassed all expectations for this year’s signature event.

Mayor McCallion said: “Derry City and Strabane District Council pulled out all the stops this year to wow locals and visitors alike with a magnificent Hallowe’en programme in Derry and Strabane over the three day festival which led up to the spectacular carnival parade and fireworks display.

“The ‘Rise of the River Gods’ theme for this year’s event really captured the public’s imagination and it was fantastic to see people of all ages enjoying the family-friendly atmosphere and vast array of entertainment taking place in and around the Guildhall and Tower Museum, on the City Walls, in the Craft Village and in Strabane town centre, the Alley Theatre, Library and Gray’s Printers, as well as other key locations across the city and district.

“Derry’s carnival parade showcased the wealth of local talent and creativity this city and region has to offer, with up to 600 local children and community groups taking part in this year’s stunning spectacle.

“Of course superb weather conditions all worked in our favour to ensure it was an enjoyable night for everyone with a very family friendly atmosphere throughout the celebrations,” she added.

The Riversaurus who took part in Derry City and Strabane District Council's  the Rise of the River Gods Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry-Londonderry on saturday night. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15

The Riversaurus who took part in Derry City and Strabane District Council's the Rise of the River Gods Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry-Londonderry on saturday night. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15

Karan Leonard, Council’s Festivals and Events Manager, said she was also delighted that Council’s continued investment in the Hallowe’en celebrations had resulted in such a positive experience for the city and district.

“The annual Hallowe’en carnival is fantastic for the city in economic terms, with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops all benefitting during the festivities. It is very rewarding to see our Hallowe’en programme go from strength to strength, all with the help of the local community who totally embrace the spirit of the event year after year. It is important to acknowledge the effort goes into the festival with input from all stakeholders and blue light services including the PSNI, Ambulance and Fire Service, without their help the event could not happen.”

Derry’s carnival parade showcased the wealth of local talent and creativity this city and region has to offer, with up to 600 local children and community groups taking part in this year’s stunning spectacle.

Mayor Elisha McCallion
Some of the people who watched the Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15

Some of the people who watched the Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15

The River Gods who took part in Derry City and Strabane District Council's the Rise of the River Gods Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry-Londonderry on saturday night pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion and her son Daithi. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15

The River Gods who took part in Derry City and Strabane District Council's the Rise of the River Gods Hallowe'en Carnival parade in Derry-Londonderry on saturday night pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion and her son Daithi. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 31.10.15