Source: Northern Ireland – City of Derry
21 October 2020
While families won’t be gathering in the centre of Strabane and Derry this Halloween they can still collectively experience the entertainment, pageantry and activities the festival normally offers thanks to an action packed virtual programme.
Crowd favourites such as Awakening of the Walls, Storytelling and Arts and Crafts Workshops have all been moved to a virtual setting to meet the challenges presented by the restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 19.
Festival and Events Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jacqueline Whoriskey, explained the thinking behind the programme.
“We wanted to recreate as much of the unique Derry Halloween spirit, creativity and passion as possible by continuing with many of the family friendly activities and events that have had the crowds flocking back to our City and District year on year,” she said.
“Although families are being asked to celebrate from home this year there is still a huge appetite to celebrate and for Derry Halloween themed entertainment.
“With our community partners we have developed an exciting virtual programme of entertainment and workshops that can be enjoyed not just by locals from Derry and Strabane but by the many international visitors who would normally be joining us at this time of year.”
One of the highlights will be The Awakening performance where five of the city’s most ghostly characters will join us from the other world to reveal the true meaning of Samhain – Derry style.
In a series of videos shot in iconic locations, you’ll meet Irish witch the Cailleach, the shapeshifting goddess Morrigan, the fearsome Red Branch Knight, an enchanting, dancing Banshee, and the Derry Coat of Arms’ very own Walter the Skeleton.
With a little help from In Your Space Circus, these mythical creatures will awake from slumber to share stories, merge old and new traditions, and get us ready for the most magical night of the year.
Other highlights include Little Horrors story-telling sessions, aimed at Kids ( 2 – 5yrs and 6- 11yrs – Horrible Histories style), which will include myths and legends of Ireland – Cuchulain, Derry Vampire, Werewolves of Ireland.
Online tutorials in make-up, costume making, and pumpkin carving, fireworks displays and a series of community led interactive projects are now live on the website and are ideal entertainment for children currently on an extended half term break.
The Wicked Words programme encourages children to get creative by writing their own Halloween Haiku, ghost story or Two Minute Terror video and The Gathering.
You can share your own Halloween creations from home using the #derryhalloween hashtag on social media and upload your own archive images from previous years on derryhalloween.com/memories.
The full virtual programme will run from Oct 28-Nov 1 – for more information the Derry Halloween programme can be found at derryhalloween.com/highlights.