Derry declared top Hallowe’en destination in the world!

The Derry Halloween Carnival and fireworks display along the banks of the River Foyle, Derry city on Wednesday night. Up to 30,000 attended this largest Halloween celebration in Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin � by-line
The Derry Halloween Carnival and fireworks display along the banks of the River Foyle, Derry city on Wednesday night. Up to 30,000 attended this largest Halloween celebration in Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin � by-line

It’s official – Derry has been named Best Hallowe’en destination in the world by top US publication USA Today, beating off competition from infamous spooky locations Transylvania, Sleepy Hollow and Salem, Massachusetts.

The destinations of choice for witches, vampires and the Headless Horseman didn’t rank as highly as our very own City of Bones when it comes to celebrating the most haunted night of the year, with Derry scooping the majority of online votes.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said the announcement would significantly boost the city’s reputation as a top Hallowe’en visitor experience.

“The event is always a huge visitor attraction in terms of drawing people from all over the world to the city, and it’s a major contributor to the local economy. Topping the poll is an extra endorsement from the public for the fantastic programme of events which takes over the city each year, and the transformation to Scary Derry.

“What makes our celebration really special though is the involvement of the public who never fail each year to stage their own show of creepy and creative Hallowe’en style, and who turn out to support the festival in their thousands.”

Council’s Festivals and Events Manager Karan Leonard said: “This is a brilliant acknowledgement of all the hard work that goes into planning each year. We always strive to get the community involved through the Hallowe’en carnival workshops and by providing a diverse range of activities to suit all ages.

“The event very much relies on the participation of local community groups who generate most of the fantastic props which are used during the carnival. When the event first started to gather momentum around 70% of our props were sourced elsewhere, but now most of our props are crafted locally. It’s fantastic to see the level of community involvement continuing to grow and winning the title of best Hallowe’en destination in the world is very much down to the support of the entire city.”

If you would like to see what all the fuss is about then check out the full programme of events online at www.derrystrabane.com/halloween. And for all the latest information about accommodation offers and availability go to www.visitderry.com