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Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry

06 October 2020

Autumn is in the air, the evenings are getting chillier and there is pumpkin spice in just about everything, and that can only mean one thing – Halloween is just around the corner.

Launched today, the Strabane Halloween event programme, which will begin on Monday 12th October, features family favourites such as the ever-popular Hay Bale Trail and Pumpkin Patches, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic there is a strong focus on public health and safety.

While the decision has been made to cancel planned outdoor community fireworks displays across Derry and Strabane to discourage public gatherings, Council’s events team has been working to put together a vibrant and creative collection of online and outdoor socially distanced activities.

This year the Hay Bale Trail will feature new sculptures in new locations so keep an eye out, you never know what you might see. Pumpkins are growing fat in their fields, waiting for families to come and claim them at Fultons Pumpkin Patch in Artigarvan, and – new to the programme this year – Maxwell Pumpkin Patch in Castlederg, with social distancing in place.

Communities are being invited to light up their gardens as the North West Carnival Initiative are encouraging homes to make their own Jack-O-Lanterns or create their own scary Halloween costume with online tutorials and home kits. The programme will also feature plenty of digital storytelling and music.

Strabane BID are also adding to the programme with a ‘Drive In Movie’ experience on Halloween night, featuring Ghostbusters showing at 7pm and Beetlejuice at 10pm priced at £15 per car, on sale from Friday, 9th October. BID are also encouraging businesses to dress their windows in the Strabane Halloween Shop Window Competition.   

And if that wasn’t enough, get ready to be petrified as Nightmare on Dock Street promises haunted trails and spooky performances for all ages.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said that the priority was to deliver a Halloween programme that was enjoyable, but which had a main focus on public health and safety.

“Throughout the whole process of putting this programme together, the health and safety of the public, and ensuring all government guidelines are adhered to, has been at the forefront of planning and will continue to be as we move forward,” he said.

“We are very aware of the increasing number of Covid cases within our community and our Halloween message is very clear – the health of our community is the number one priority and under no circumstances do we want to see large crowds gathering or guidelines being ignored.

“I want to pay tribute to our events team, our marketing team and everyone who has worked tirelessly to produce a programme that can celebrate this special occasion in our district and give the children of Strabane and the surrounding areas something to look forward to, while also keeping everyone safe and separated.”

He continued: “More than ever before, we want this Halloween to have a real community feel so that, while in our own homes, we can still enjoy Halloween together and keep that traditional Halloween spirit alive, and together we can ensure that we protect one another by following the guidelines in place.”

Jacqueline Whoriskey, Council’s Events Manager, added: “This will be a Halloween unlike any other and we all have a part to play in making it special and enjoyable, but also safe.

“Council officers have put this programme together with advice from government and public health bodies at the fore, and we will continue to do that as we get our programme underway.

“We want to put on a Halloween programme that is special for our children and young people and that helps support our local businesses, but, most importantly, that keeps everyone safe and healthy.”

For more on the Strabane Halloween programme, visit www.strabanehalloween.com 

Please note that some events require pre-booking and have limited capacity.

MIL OSI United Kingdom