Derry Halloween fireworks - Council rethink after concerns display too late for kids

Derry & Strabane Council has brought forward its fireworks display on Halloween night to 9pm after being forced to rethink the annual celebration.

By Brendan McDaid
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 4:22 pm

Many local people have expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction after it emerged the fireworks display this year was being moved from their usual 7.30pm to 8-8.15pm slots to 9.45pm.

Some parents with young families were particularly annoyed as this was past their children’s bedtime.

Now the Council has confirmed the display over the River Foyle will instead take place at 9pm.

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2018: The fireworks display over the River Foyle in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. 31.10.18

A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed today: “Given concerns raised about the later timing of this year’s fireworks, it has been agreed that the display will now take place on October 31 at 9pm.

“This will mean the Awakening the Walled City programme will now begin slightly earlier at 4.30pm on the evening of Halloween, concluding at 9pm.”

Explaining why the Fireworks had initially been planned for 9.45pm, the spokesperson said: “The later time had been agreed in line with the strong focus this year on the current health and safety guidance around Covid19, as well as the safe management of crowds, which are expected to be substantial, particularly on October 31.

“Scheduling the fireworks later in the evening would have allowed visitors to complete the Awakening the Walled City trail ahead of the fireworks, with crowds safely filtering away after the event.

“By bringing the Awakening the Walled City Programme time forward to 4.30pm, with fireworks scheduled for 9pm, we hope this will allow visitors to enjoy the full Derry Halloween experience while also enabling the safe management of the event.

“We would also remind people that a full fireworks display will take place in Strabane at 7pm should parents wish to take younger children.”