Devilish Derry delights expected for Halloween night

Halloween
Image caption Spectators on the Peace Bridge will be limited between 19:30 and 20:30 GMT on Thursday

Fireworks and a host of ghosts, ghouls and devilish delights are expected to take over Londonderry on Thursday night for a Halloween celebration like no other year.

30,000 people are expected in Derry, which is the UK City of Culture 2013.

Six hundred local performers are expected to take part in the finale with choreography from the Curious Carnival of the Lost Souls Parade.

The parade is the showpiece event in a week-long programme of events.

It will start at 19:00 GMT from the car park on Queen's Quay.

The fireworks display will commence over the River Foyle at 20:00 GMT.

The Halloween celebrations will come to an end with a magical Shapeshifters Ball in the Guildhall at 21:00 GMT.

Local performing arts instructor Nadine Hegarty, who runs the arts group Fireworks, said children had been practising for weeks in the build-up to the city's biggest annual event.

'Ghoulish routines'

"We have children who do ballet, hip hop, tap dance and drama, and we have tried to produce a piece of choreography that incorporates all their individual skills," she said.

"The range of talent is unbelievable and the children are all having a fantastic time. It's just as much about the creative process as the end product for us.

"I don't want to give too much away but we're really getting into the Halloween spirit with some gruesome and ghoulish routines."

Carnival development officer with Derry City Council, Sharon Meenan, paid tribute to all the hard work in local schools and community groups throughout the city.

Image caption City artists have been working with the City Walls Heritage Project to pay homage to the walls by creating a host of illuminations

She said: "As always we have been inundated with local groups who want to take part in the Halloween event.

"It's fantastic to see so much community involvement this year and I would like to thank all those whose creativity, skill and imagination make the carnival such an amazing spectacle each year. It will be a devilish treat."

The parade will travel along the Strand Road, turn left towards the City Hotel, around Harbour Square roundabout and return to the council car park along Queen's Quay at approximately 19:45 GMT.

Special event

A viewing area for people with disabilities will also be located on the Queen's Quay opposite the City Hotel.

Recommended viewing areas on the city side are the Queen's Quay and Foyle Embankment for the firework display.

On the Waterside, the top of Browning Drive and Ebrington parade ground are recommended as the best locations.

The Halloween carnival programme also includes a special event that combines the celebration of Halloween with marking the 400th anniversary of Derry's historic walls.

Image caption Derry has experienced a huge growth in its Halloween festivities in recent years

A number of city artists have been working with the City Walls Heritage Project to pay homage to the walls with a host of illuminations, sculptures and props to create a trail of surprises, frights and delights in the run-up to Halloween night.

A spokesperson for Derry City Council said the number of spectators on the Peace Bridge would be limited and it would most likely be closed to pedestrians and cyclists between 19:30 and 20:30 GMT.

American disco and R&B band Chic will perform on stage at The Venue in Ebrington Square around 21:30 GMT.

The council has asked members of the public and ticket-holders attending the Chic concert to take the bridge's closure into account when planning their travel arrangements and to co-operate with the stewards who will be present to ensure everyone's safety.

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