Derry's famous Halloween celebrations to go ahead this year despite the pandemic - but on a smaller scale

Council allocates £50,000 to fund a revised programme

First Light to enrich the soul Derry's Halloween

Derry's Halloween festivities attracts tens of thousands every year.

Plans for this year's Halloween festival in Derry are going ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, it emerged today.

Derry City and Strabane District Council's Business and Culture Committee have approved a reduced budget of £50,000 to fund a revised programme for its Halloween 2020 celebrations.

Members attending today's virtual online meeting, heard that the 2020 'Awakening' themed celebrations will be a shorter five day festival running from Wednesday, October 28, to Sunday November 1.

The decision to approve funding will allow the council's Festival and Events team to develop and procure a schedule of events in keeping with the likely social distancing restrictions but retaining the city's reputation for world-class Halloween celebrations.

The full proposed programme will be presented for approval to Members in September and is likely to be a series of small-scale events.

Head of Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Aeidin McCarter, said: "With restrictions likely, the primary focus in planning for this year's Halloween celebrations will be ensuring that this City and District maintains its reputation as the best place in the world to celebrate Halloween.

"With international travel restrictions likely to still be in place, the focus will be on a local audience and community based activity however there is still an opportunity to promote to an international audience through high quality digital content.

"Despite the restrictions, our officers are confident that a programme can be rolled out that will include community participation and dress up, a citywide dressing scheme, the Hay Bale Sculpture Trail, digital and web content including Little Horrors and Samhain Sessions and the possibility of a television broadcast."

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