Frightening festivities set for Strabane this Halloween

The town alongside Castlederg is in for thrills and chills aplenty with spooky tours, street performances and sculpture trails all to look forward to

Residents of Strabane are in for a scarily good Halloween this year with five days of ghostly goings-on lined up for the County Tyrone town from October 26 - 31.

Taking place as part of the wider celebrations in Derry~Londonderry – voted in 2015 as the world's number one destination for the holiday - there's an impressive offering for all ages which should spellbind and spook in equal measure.

Among the highlights on Halloween day, October 31 will be the fireworks display at the Upper Main Street car park at 8.00pm, scary street performers, arts and crafts workshops, face painting and birds of prey. There will be spooky storytelling sessions at Gray’s Printing and a world record balloon modelling attempt at the Alley Theatre by Britain’s Got Talent star Ryan Tracey, as well as Spooky Cinema shows and scary surprises throughout the day.

The Esmeralda Trick or Treat tours that will operate throughout the day from the Alley Theatre are expected to a huge draw, so early booking is advisable when bookings open at the theatre on Friday October 22. Priced at £2, participants to come dressed to impress for the 45 minute walking tour through the town collecting festive treats and hearing ghost stories, folk tales and myths.

Not to be forgotten, Castlederg will also be getting in on the action with a busy programme of its own including the Castlederg Apple Fair on Friday October 27 from 8.00am to 5.00pm in the town centre. There'll be music and entertainment by Scottish Ceilidh band Whiskey Kiss, cooking demonstrations and the famous Hoolie on the Hill that evening from 6.30-9.00pm. Meanwhile the Castlederg Piping Festival returns on Saturday 28 from 1.00-5.00pm.

HoolieHill@Derg-14

Another standout in Strabane is this year's spectacular Halloween panto Sleepy Hollow, presented by the Arts Academy at the Alley Theatre from Thursday 26 until Saturday 28, while the Strabane Halloween Market at the Alley Courtyard on Friday 27 will feature local food and craft producers, as well as storytelling by local vegetarian werewolf Wooolfred.

On the same day the Riversdale Leisure Centre will host a Halloween Pool Disco, while on Saturday 28 there be a monstrous Halloween fun day with workshops and spooky storytelling at the Strabane Community Library, and the Alley Theatre will have Mr Majestic perform his fantastic Interactive Magic Show.

A memorable feature of last year's celebrations, high-energy street theatre drummers Spark! will illuminate the Alley Courtyard at 3.30pm, while the Tullacor Allotments will play host to a spooky family fun day.

Spark

A new addition to this year’s Halloween festivities in the Strabane area is the Hallowe’en Hay Sculpture Trail that will take place across a number of rural communities including Strabane, Donemana, Plumbridge, Newtownstewart, Victoria Bridge and Castlederg and will feature some manmade themed sculptures of hay located at iconic locations across the district created by the young farmers and community groups.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Boyle speaking at the launch said he was very impressed with the line-up and is looking forward to being part of the celebrations in Strabane and across the wider City and District.

'The Hallowe’en festival line-up is part of the Council’s hugely successful and well-established Hallowe’en celebrations in Derry that sees up to 30,000 people converge on the streets for the carnival parade and fireworks celebrations. I am delighted that the festival programme has been extended to include events in Strabane in the run up to and on Halloween night and I would encourage everyone to get involved and come along and be part of the Hallowe’en celebrations. It’s a great time of year to get out and about and get involved in some activities with the family and the local community.'

For more information on the events that take place from Thursday 26 – Tuesday October 31 in the Strabane area visit www.strabanehalloween.com.