Plans for long weekend Hallowe’en festival as 2020 finale event will fall on Saturday

The Johnstone family pictured at the Halloween parade and fireworks in the city centre back in October 2019.  DER4419GS - 061The Johnstone family pictured at the Halloween parade and fireworks in the city centre back in October 2019.  DER4419GS - 061
The Johnstone family pictured at the Halloween parade and fireworks in the city centre back in October 2019. DER4419GS - 061 | JPIMedia Resell
Derry’s 2019 Hallowe’en celebrations have been hailed the most successful to date in a report presented to the local Council’s Business and Culture Committee this week.

The 2019 festival attracted a record 140,000 people to Derry and 5,000 in Strabane on Hallowe’en night, October 31.

Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture with the Council told members that 2019 was the best performing year for Derry Hallowe’en, which saw an increase in visitor numbers over the seven days. There were over 16,500 bed nights and an 84% average hotel occupancy across six nights, and 99% occupancy in the city on Hallowe’en night itself.

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Half of all visitor numbers were local, 19% from the rest of Northern Ireland and 30% from other regions/ countries.

Looking ahead to 2020, Aeidin McCarter said that Hallowe’en night will take place on a Saturday and the Council is keen to sustain the high audience numbers and positive media coverage, with a full five-day celebration and programming to target the weekend visitor market.

The Derry Hallowe’en programme is proposed to run from Wednesday, October 28 until Sunday November 1.

The festival will again include the Awakening of the Walls, Legenderry Food Village, Samhain Sessions, City of Bones Carnival Parade and fireworks display.