Witches of the west to swoop into Derry for Hallowe’en Festival launch

Some of the hundreds of witches who descended on the Walls as Derry City and Strabane District Council launched its Hallowe'en 2018 programme last year. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.18
Some of the hundreds of witches who descended on the Walls as Derry City and Strabane District Council launched its Hallowe'en 2018 programme last year. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.18

Witches, wizards and warlocks are being urged to hang up their broomsticks and wands at the Guildhall next week as they gather to show the world that Derry has the Hex Factor when it comes to Hallowe’en.

A spellbinding Hallowe’en launch party is planned for Thursday, August 1, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, when sorcerers young and old are invited to abandon their cauldrons, dust off their favourite little black cloak, and enjoy a date with the dark side.

With Derry’s reputation as the world’s best Hallowe’en destination to uphold, it’s hoped that the turnout will rival last year’s official launch, when hundreds of witches descended on the city centre.

Whether it’s a hastily donned black bin bag or a painstakingly crafted costume, all participants will be rewarded with a magical evening of arts and crafts, storytelling, face-painting and music.

There are just a few months to go until this year’s world-famous Derry Hallowe’en, which runs from October 26 to November 1, and 2019 looks set to be bigger and better than ever.

With a theme of The Other World Awakens, the action-packed programme includes the annual parade and fireworks, Samhain Sessions, Little Horrors family fun, a new LegenDerry food event and the return of the hugely successful Awakening the Walls.

The award-winning Derry Halloween, named Number One Hallowe’en Destination in the World by USA Today, recently picked up another accolade, Best International Experience at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards.

Mayor Michaela Boyle said the launch event was the ideal opportunity to whet the appetite for the celebrations in October.

“With just three months to go until this year’s Hallowe’en celebrations in Derry and Strabane excitement and anticipation is already starting to build for our globally renowned celebrations,” she said.

“Last year’s festivities saw in excess of 100,000 people attend over 100 events across 40 venues and Council’s Festivals and Events team and their partners are busy preparing to break new ground this year.

“The launch party on August 1 is a fantastic opportunity for people to start the festivities early and show the world what they can expect in October so I’d encourage as many people as possible to don their costumes and head for the Guildhall.”

Derry Hallowe’en is organised and funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from the Tourism N. Ireland International Fund.

For more information, visit derryhalloween.com or follow @DerryHalloween on social media #DerryHalloween.