Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Awakening The Walls supernatural trail which will light up Derry’s historic City Walls in the run-up to Hallowe’en.
Awakening The Walls is one of the key highlights of Derry and Strabane Council’s internationally acclaimed annual festival, which attracted 75,000 revellers to the ‘Best Hallowe’en Destination in the World’ last year.
The impressive illuminated spectacle which is suitable for all ages, will again be staged by celebrated Inishowen-based landscape theatre company, LUXe on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evening, October 28 to 30, from 6pm to 8.30pm each night.
It will be based around the theme of this year’s four-day festival celebrations, Under the Samhain Moon, with large-scale illuminations banishing the dark before the ancient Gaelic festival marking the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.
Jacqueline Whoriskey, Council Festival and Events Manager said the Council was delighted to have Awakening The Walls, which attracted 45,000 visitors alone last year, back on the Hallowe’en programme again this year.
She said: “Awakening The Walls is one of the biggest highlights of our annual Hallowe’en festival programme which always attracts huge crowds and we anticipate similar numbers again this year. Guided maps will be available from the Info Point at Waterloo Place and we will be operating a one-way system on the City Walls to ensure ease of passage for people making their way along the route, including prams and wheelchairs.
“As there are some steps on the trail, provision will be made for accessible access.”
The Festival and Events Manager added that Council was delighted to be supporting a number of local community arts organisations in the delivery of its Hallowe’en programme, including Awakening The Walls.
Mark and Mandy Hill, the husband and wife directors of LUXe based in Burnfoot, Co. Donegal, have once again pulled out all the stops for this year’s Awakening The Walls with a team of more than 20 performers taking part in the Cirque de Lune outdoors production.
The lunar theme will feature strongly in the Dark vs Light festivities with giant moonbeams and LUXE’s signature chandeliers, illuminated towers, circus and fire performers creating a supernatural spectacle to release the moon from the darkness on Hallowe’en night.
A fiery alley will also be created behind St Columb’s Cathedral which will be illuminated from inside to reflect the magnificent stained glass windows and, the churchyard itself will also be dressed for the occasion.
Mark Hill said: “The illuminations are all about reaching for the moon. We stage a different show every year and this year’s show is all around the theme of the Samhain Moon so people can expect another exciting spectacle in and around the City Walls.”
LUXe have recently been working in the Vesteralen area of Norway where they staged a large lantern piece with the community in Melbu.
Last month they visited the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in India, sourcing music for a project they will be taking part in at next year’s Errigal Arts Festival in Co. Donegal.
Halloween in Derry is organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism NI Events Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
For full details of the programme of events taking place from October 28th-31st, culminating with the crowds gathering on Hallowe’en night to Release the Samhain Moon at the main carnival parade followed by a world class fireworks display on the River Foyle from 8.15pm, visit www.derryhalloween.com