Tens of thousands of people are set to converge on Derry’s city centre this evening as the city prepares to celebrate its biggest ever Hallowe’en bash.
Residents across the city have been warned to be prepared for the arrival of some unique visitors for the 30th anniversary celebrations with an alien invasion scheduled to arrive this evening.
A World War II siren will sound across to city tonight to prepare earth residents for their arrival.
Hundreds of local people will be among those taking part in the City of Bones Street Carnival Parade, which sets off from the Council offices car park at 7pm.
The parade will move along Boating Club Lane to the Strand Road. From here it will proceed along the Strand Road to Harbour Square Roundabout before progressing along Queens Quay, where it will end at around 7.50pm.
This will be followed by the Fireworks Finale over the River Foyle at 8pm.
Those attending or travelling through the area are advised to expect some disruptions to travel in and around the city centre this evening.
A number of car park and road closures are to be put in place to guarantee public safety and viewing of the main parade.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock said, ‘This is one the biggest Halloween Carnivals in the World. We’ve previously been voted ‘The Best Halloween Destination in the World’ by US today readers so quite naturally there will be huge crowds in the city centre on Monday evening all eager to enjoy the parade and fireworks.
“To ensure everyone has an enjoyable and safe evening, Council do have to limit access in certain areas. I’d ask anyone taking part to be mindful of these and follow any advice issued by Stewarts and the Emergency Services to make this, our 30th year of celebrations one of the best we’ve ever had.”
Sharon Meenan, Events Co-ordinator at Derry City and Strabane District Council advised, “Anyone planning to attend the festivities should note that Queen’s Quay will be closed to traffic from 6pm until 8.30pm (slightly earlier than previous years) and that Queen’s Quay and Foyle Street Car Parks will be closed all day. Strand Road Car Park will be open for Accessible Parking only. There will be no access to Quayside or Victoria Market Car parks from 6.00pm until 8.30pm to facilitate the passing of the parade, but both will remain open prior to and following the parade and fireworks.
“Car parking will be available at major car parks such as Foyleside Shopping Centre, Quayside Shopping Centre, William Street Car Park and at the Fort George and Ebrington sites.
“Further traffic diversions will be in place in and around the city centre, therefore we do advise that where possible avoid driving to the city centre, opt to park and stride where possible and allow a little extra time for your journey.
“Park and stride facilities are available at both Fort George and Ebrington. The Peace Bridge will also be closed from 7.30pm until 8.30pm. Once the event has ended, Peace Bride and road access should be returned to normal fairly quickly.
“To those looking to get a good viewing position of the fireworks, Queen’s Quay will be the ideal spot. There will also be an accessible viewing area for people with disabilities located on the Queen’s Quay opposite the City Hotel and in the Strand Road Car Park. I’d advise that any disabled persons with impaired mobility who wish to avail of this area arrive a little earlier in order to ensure unimpeded access before the surrounding areas become heavily crowded.”
Derry City and Strabane District Council have introduced a new point of contact to the Carnival for Access and Inclusion making the event more accessible and inclusive to all. This will include additions to the provisions from previous years such as a quiet room available on October 31 at Harbour House.
Should anyone require details in regards to access and inclusion for this event, contact Louise Boyce via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 028 7125 3253, ext 4349. Information is also available at www.derrystrabane.com/inclusion.
Translink meanwhile have confirmed their services will run as normal around any road closures. Translink bus information can be found at www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables.
Further details on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Halloween Celebrations and Strabane’s traffic arrangements can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/halloween.