The £millions after the night before

Fireworks explode over the River Foyle during the Halloween Carnival.. Picture Martin McKeown. INLS 45-798-con
Fireworks explode over the River Foyle during the Halloween Carnival.. Picture Martin McKeown. INLS 45-798-con

Ebrington Square was among the key locations as around 80,000 people flocked to Londonderry for the annual Halloween Carnival.

Although official figures have yet to be collated, its is believed the 30th anniversary spectacular has boosted the city’s economy by millions of pounds.

The ‘City of Bones’ programme reached a crescendo with the traditional fireworks over the River Foyle on Monday evening and an ‘Out of this World’ parade that showcased creativity, community spirit and civic pride.

The largest crowd ever of up to 30,000 people came out to be part of the finale.

The Mayor, Alderman Hilary McClintock said: “This year’s Halloween celebrations have once again been a phenomenal success with record breaking numbers coming out to be part of the spectacle. No one does Halloween like us and we definitely deserve our Best Halloween Destination in the World title.

“One of the main successes of Halloween is the partnership working between council and the support agencies and the community sector, who really do all they can to help us deliver a great event.”

City centre manager Jim Roddy, who was in touch with businesses throughout the festival, noted that attractions such as the funfair had proved a draw to Ebrington Square.

He added: “I was talking with James Huey, of the Walled City Brewery, they had a very good weekend, they were full.”

Stating it was difficult to put an exact figure on the value of the celebrations to the economy, he indicated it was likely to be “in the millions”.

Other highlights over the four-days included the Awakening of the Walls when the historic fortifications came to life with music, animation and light, creating a fantasy of fire and flame and spooky organ recitals at the Guildhall.

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said: “The Festival of Lights on the city’s walls was of particular interest, highlighting the many great assets our city has, including St Columbs Cathedral and the Guildhall.

“I pay tribute to all involved in organising this event and I commend our emergency services for working so hard to keep everyone safe.”

The festival, which is delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism NI, passed off with little by way of incident, according to police.

PSNI Chief Inspector Gordon McCalmont said: “Given the thousands of people who came here to celebrate Halloween the fact that there were only two arrests is testament to the desire from local people, council, and our partners in the other emergency services to ensure that events like this showcase the District in the best light possible.”

The Western Health and Social Care Trust said it was pleased to be working in partnership with other agencies at the carnival.