A welcome like no other awaits you at Derry Halloween, from October 26th – November 1st. As the veil between this world and the other is at its thinnest, join supernatural beings and the walking dead as they surge and stagger into the city for a week-long, internationally renowned Samhain spectacular.
There’s a bumper harvest in store this year, from ancient mythology and ghostly tales of yore, to cutting-edge culture and a showstopping carnival and fireworks finale. The first ever LegenDerry Food Village in Waterloo Place will showcase the best local seasonal produce and celebrate the city’s thriving street food scene, with wood fired pizzas, fiery Latin American flavours and delicious autumnal sweet treats.
Still hungry for more? Local bars and restaurants will be concocting bespoke Halloween dishes and drinks for ravenous revellers as part of a LegenDerry Food Trail. It’s a great way to experience a city which has established a name for itself as a foodie hotspot.
The historic Derry walls, which celebrated their 400th anniversary this year, will come alive for the three evenings before Halloween. Awakening the Walls is a free trail of more than 40 installations by artists and performers, all reflecting this year’s theme, The Other World Awakens. You’ll see Eyes to the Skies, an aerial dance spectacle, a wicked wonderland, haunted windows and more.
Now world-famous, Derry Halloween began as a party in a pub more than 30 years ago. It has retained its grassroots feel and the huge community-led carnival on October 31 will feature hundreds of participants performing a new work inspired by Celtic legends such as the shapeshifting Morrigan. A fireworks finale is a suitably epic note to finish on.
Other highlights during the week include Samhain Sessions, a series of live concerts in atmospheric venues. Meanwhile, ‘Count Dracula’ will be blasting out gothic tunes on the organ in the Guildhall, by the light of the stunning Samhain Moon.
The Heart of Samhain is located in the Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place, where, as well as the LegenDerry Food Village, you’ll soak up the sights and sounds of a haunted market, arts and crafts, live music and street performances, plus a festival information point.
There’s also a frightfully good line-up of Little Horrors activities to let children’s imaginations run wild. Events include the Return of the Morrigan show, ghost bus tours, Viking role play, Japanese storytelling, a bat safari and so much more. And beware of the giant – supposedly extinct – Saurus beasts who will be roaming the crowds in search of food.
Costumes are a key part of the fun, and festival-goers are being urged to dress up. (Who knows? You might just see a few Derry Girls – or Derry Ghouls). From bin liners to masterpieces, all are welcome, and there will be costume workshops and a freaky Junk Kouture fashion show in the Guildhall.
For a wallet-friendly Halloween with the wow factor, Derry has it all. Join us… if you dare!
For more information visit derryhalloween.com