Embark on a journey of mystery and spooks and get yourself into the Hallowe’en spirit during the returning Strabane hay sculpture trail.
Taking place in venues across the town and the surrounding area from October 12 to 31, the trail features exciting sculptures at every stop, with lots of other activities on offer - so whether you visit one or take them all in, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
Co-ordinated by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the sculptures have all been produced by the local communities, schools and farmers.
Mayor Michaela Boyle said: “Hallowe’en is a really vibrant and exciting time of year within our district, and these sculptures bring it all to life in a way that is enticing for people of all ages. Every year they prove a hit attraction, bringing lots of people to the Strabane area, and it’s well-deserved for those in the local communities, the farmers and the schools who have worked so hard to produce them.
“They really have thought of everything, so whether you’re looking to experience the spooky and scary or something a bit more light-hearted, you’ll not be disappointed.”
The trail features 11 different displays in venues that run from Castlederg to Bready. Some of the highlights include a ghoulish ghost train at the Tinnies, who will be dressed up as witches and pumpkins, while the Castlederg Young Farmers Club will have a pumpkin with a scarecrow hanging out of its mouth.
There will be a Charlotte’s Web theme at the Alley Theatre with a rat and a spider sure to cause a fright as they cling to the wall watching you sip your hot chocolate and eat some delicious cake!
New Horizons will have a bee and butterfly – something you can take in while getting a photo in their pumpkin patch and enjoying the scarecrow trail experience.
The animal theme continues with a large snake and tortoise at Barntop Farm – part of a fun family day out - and the Sollus Centre in Bready will pay homage to the Ulster Scots with a highland cow.
It wouldn’t be Hallowe’en without some scary witches, and there will be one marshalling Fulton’s Pumpkin Patch where you can select your perfect Hallowe’en pumpkin, with a choice of seven different types and three different colours.
Cumming’s Farm will also have witchy art on display that will send a shiver down the spine, and at the Den you can visit the Haunted House when you’re checking out the hay art work!
One sculpture in particular was the product of a project between North West Regional College and four local primary schools - St Mary’s, St Catherine’s, Strabane PS and Gael Scoil. The children were tasked with creating the designs based on the popular books ‘Funny Bones’ and ‘Meg and Mog’ and, from there, the winners were brought to life by the HND students at the Strabane campus of NWRC, and now the witch, skeleton and cat are on display in front of the college campus.
Ashleigh Devine, Council Festival and Events Officer added: “Every year the hay sculptures trail just keeps getting better and better, and with so much on offer this year it promises to be the best one yet. Not only are the sculptures themselves a huge attraction, but there’s so much else on offer - from pumpkin picking, to a day at Barntop Farm, to a lovely lunch at the Beech Hill Hotel while checking out the minions!
“It’s certainly one not to be missed, and if you’re not quite in the Halloween spirit yet, this will definitely do the trick.”
Admission is free and all venues and events are suitable for all ages. For the full list of the sculptures on display, and where you can view them, visit www.strabanehalloween.com.