Thousands to gather for Hallowe’en Finale tonight

Spark! make their way through the city centre in Derry at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.17
Spark! make their way through the city centre in Derry at the weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 28.10.17

Tens of thousands will gather in Derry tonight for the explosive grand finale of the Hallowe’en celebrations.

The parade sets off at 7pm from Derry & Strabane Council’s car park at Queen’s Quay and the route has been extended this year.

All the stops have been pulled out for this year’s Under The Samhain Moon Festival, which has already seen droves of local people and visitors from across the world flocking to the city centre over the past three days and continuing throughout today.

Highlights have included free concerts, markets and activities at Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place, the Museum of the Moon at the Guildhall and Awakening the Walls on the City Walls.

Tonight, however, the parade takes centre stage and with the Met Office predicting just a 10 per cent chance of rain for 7pm, it looks like there will be tens of thousands coming out to witness the event.

The parade will have a distinctly lunar theme as the crowds gather to Release the Samhain Moon. It will move off from the council car park at Queen’s Quay, along Boating Club Lane to the Strand Road. From here it will proceed along the Strand Road to the Harbour Square Roundabout before progressing along the Foyle Embankment to Water Street and returning back towards the quay and finishing at the council car park at around 8.15 p.m. The parade will be immediately followed by the fireworks display.

Mayor Maolíosa McHugh, said: “With so many people expected, I would also urge people to plan ahead of their visit to ensure their journey is stress free and that they are aware of all the guidance in terms of road closures and parking. Let’s make this a Hallowe’en to remember.”

Queen’s Quay will be closed to traffic from 6pm until 8.30pm, with Queen’s Quay and Foyle Street Car Parks 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 6pm until 8.30pm.

Car parking will be available at Foyleside, Quayside, William Street and at the Fort George, Foyle Arena and Oakgrove Primary School. Park and Stride facilities are available at Fort George, North West Regional College and Magee.

The Peace Bridge will also be closed from 7.15 pm until 8.40 p.m.

Anyone hoping to enjoy a good view of the fireworks should note that Queen’s Quay will provide the ideal spot. There will also be an accessible viewing area for people with impaired mobility located on the Queen’s Quay opposite the City Hotel and in the Strand Road Car Park.

Anyone who wishes to avail of this area should 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 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 the Guildhall and North West Regional College, Strand Building. Should anyone require details in regards to access and inclusion for this event, contact Louise Boyce via email at louise.boyce@derrystrabane.com or telephone 028 7125 3253, ext 4349. Information is also available at www.derrystrabane.com/inclusion.

Translink have confirmed that there will be some disruption to their services around any road closures. Translink bus information can be found at www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables. Further updates to travel arrangements will be made available via local radio stations such as Radio Foyle, Q102, Downtown and Cool FM throughout the day.

Further details on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Halloween Celebrations and Strabane’s traffic arrangements can be found at www.derryhalloween.com/traffic