‘Frights and Delights’ announced for Derry Halloween Festival

The details of this years Hallowe’en celebrations have been outlined by the North West Carnival Initiative (NWCI)

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Monday, 25th October 2021, 1:46 pm

The three day event, titled ‘The Awakening of the Walled City’ will take place in five different locations or ‘worlds’ this year. ‘The Lost World’ will take place in Strabane while ‘The Ancients’ will be in Swan Park in Buncranna. This is the first time the festival will take place in Donegal.

Each ‘world’ will represent five different spirits of Samhain, the ancient Irish celebration of Hallowe’en and will feature legends such as the Cailleach, the Queen of Winter and the Phantom Queen Morrigan. The locations of the ‘worlds’ are as follows:

The Whispering Wharf of Queen’s Quay and Foyle Embankment

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The City of Bones on Guildhall Square and the Diamond

The Awakening and The Forest of Shadows in Ebrington Square and St Columb’s Park

The Lost World in Strabane Town

The Ancients in Buncrana

Mini Graveyard maker Seanna McLaughlin

Each world promises to fill the imagination with ‘music and mischief’ while the festivals legendary ‘frights and delights’ will entertain both big and small.

The parade will not take place this year for the second year, because of Covid restrictions but the world-class Spark drummers will be performing during the festival. The city’s infamous fireworks display will take place on Sunday, October 31 at 9pm.

NWCI Project Manager Jim Collins, is excited to see the public’s reaction to the events.

He said, “It’s great to finally be able to showcase our work in front of a live audience, we think people will be blown away by what we have in store.

Helen Quigley with some Halloween lanterns

“We will have over 40 different light installations in St Columb’s Park House and across the park itself.

“We have engaged with community groups across the city and hosted lantern making workshops to allow local people to be involved at every level.

“The parade provides a vital source of income to artists and we were mindful that they have lost out on that over the last two years. We wanted to engage with them and give them the opportunity to display their work to a live audience again.

“We will have pop up performances from local dance groups like Sollus and Studio 2 and a light display by An Cosan Glas from the Donegal Gaeltacht that we are really excited about.”

Christine Meenan, NW Carnival artist at work

There will also be family activities during the day, such as the Kids Farm at The Guildhall Square and the Samhain Band Stand in Waterloo Place.

Walter the Skeleton and his wife tell the story of how they first met in the Guildhall with In Your Space and The Void Gallery will ghost the Creepy Curiosity Club, where children are welcome to get creative with creepy crafts.

Translink have provided additional services for the festival as well as a shuttle bus from the Waterside transport hub into and out of the city on Sunday, October 31. More details can be found on Translink.co.uk.

The festival will take place Friday October 29 to Sunday October 31. The full programme of events is available at derryhalloween.com