Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

10 Halloween hotspots

Grace Guthrie (3), from Bready, meets the dragons at the Derry Halloween Dragon Safari
Kristen and Sophie Cushnie with parents Brian and Tina at the Purple Turnip Festival at Castle Gardens, Lisburn, at the weekend
Bruce Airhead in his giant balloon at St Columb's Hall during the Halloween festivities

It’s the season for ghostly goings-on, fireworks and fancy dress... Aisling Scally picks 10 events to get you into the spirit of things

1. The Halloween Carnival of Light parade in Londonderry will summon spirits, creatures and other worldly beings for the city’s annual bash tomorrow evening. The city’s five-day festival will come to a climax tomorrow when 30,000-plus people descend on the city for the parade and a huge fireworks display. The carnival starts from Derry City Council’s car park at 7pm. For details, tel: 7137 6545.

2. Belfast’s biggest firework event may be over, but you can still take a 45-minute ghost bus tour through some of the most haunted spots in the city. Or you can enjoy a walking tour where you'll meet various spirits, including one who went down with the Titanic. Tours commence at 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm tonight and tomorrow. For details, tel: 9031 5531.

3. Have you ever tried a Halloween treat called shoofly pie? The Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh is offering the chance to try this and other seasonal dishes such as barnbrack and pumpkin. You can take a tour of the outdoor museum as darkness falls, enjoying ghost stories, ghouls and witches bringing the past to life. The festival takes place today and tomorrow. For details, tel: 8224 3292.

4. There will be ghoulish goings-on, crafty capers, scary stories and lots of other entertainment during the annual Halloween event at Enniskillen Castle Museum. Activities run from 2-5pm tomorrow and booking is essential as places are limited (tel: 6632 5000). The annual Fireworks Festival in Enniskillen starts at 8pm tomorrow and there's a designated viewing area for spectators in the grounds of Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.

5. North Belfast’s Waterworks park will host a spectacular evening of free entertainment tonight. Top Pink tribute artist Alecia Karr will perform on a floating pontoon stage on the Waterworks pond and there will be an array of street performers, samba bands, Chinese dragons and fire-eaters, followed by a fireworks display at 9pm.

6. Bonfire Beacons will be lighting up the night skies of Co Down at 6.30pm tomorrow at the Glen River car park, Newcastle, and St Patrick's Square, Downpatrick. Down County Museum is also hosting Nightmare on English Street: The Horrible History of Halloween. Pre-booking applies (Tel: 4461 5218).

7. Erneside Shopping Centre in Enniskillen stages its ‘Spooky Spectacular’ from noon to 5pm today. You can visit the Creepy Crawly Reptile Village and enjoy stilt-walkers, face-painters and other scary celebrations as well as balloon modellers and a fancy dress competition. For details, tel: 6632 5705.

8. How would you like to help a ghost hunter catch the scary spirits hiding in the Navan Centre and Fort in Armagh? The Halloween@Navan 2012 experience is offering the chance to learn about traditional Halloween characters as well as seasonal crafts and pumpkin carving. Events run from 10am to 6pm today and 10am to 4pm tomorrow. For details, tel: 3752 9644.

9. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra is getting ready to welcome a host of witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls and all their young apprentices. Visitors should come dressed to scare as they embark on a mysterious adventure, the Ghost Mystery Hunt (packs available to download from nmni.com/uftm). The event runs from 10am to 4pm tomorrow. For details, visit www.nmni.com/uftm/halloween.

10. Coleraine is hosting a huge ‘Halloween Happening’ tomorrow that includes an outdoor concert, fireworks display, funfair and fancy dress competition. Events get under way at the town’s Rugby Avenue sports ground from 7pm, with the fireworks at 8.30pm. For details, visit www.northcoastni.com or tel: 7034 4723.

For details of events in your area, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com or your local council’s website

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