Belfast Telegraph

Thousands have a blast at Halloween

By Lisa Smyth

Tens of thousands of people attended Halloween celebrations across Northern Ireland on Saturday night, while firefighters dealt with more than 100 emergency call-outs.

As the annual Halloween events got under way, the Fire and Rescue Service received 149 calls and attended 113 separate incidents - a slight increase on last year.

A spokesman said the majority of incidents were in the Southern Command Area, with most involving rubbish and bonfires and there were also a number of call-outs to attend fires where tyres had been set alight.

"Twenty-five of the incidents were bonfire-related, with NIFRS crews required to take action on seven occasions," added the spokesman. However, the majority of the celebrations passed off without any problems.

Londonderry once again played host to Europe's largest Halloween festival, culminating in an explosive fireworks display on the banks of the Foyle.

The city has earned a reputation as one of the best Halloween destinations and this year's efforts certainly didn't disappoint with a day of events including the incredible spectacular of Awakening the Walls and the Rio Bravo Fiesta celebrating Dia de los Muertos hosted by the Craft Village.

A river gods and sea creatures-themed parade marked the end of the five-day Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival, drawing some of the largest crowds. Meanwhile, the annual festivities in Belfast attracted crowds of young and old with a spectacular fireworks display at the Titanic Slipways proving to be the main draw.

There was a carnival rock theme at the Monster Mash event and many of the revellers got into the spirit of the evening by dressing up in some frightful Halloween outfits to enjoy the street theatre, music and more.

At Crumlin Road Gaol, cited as one of Northern Ireland's most haunted locations, visitors were treated to tours of the jail's most paranormal hotspots, before they were treated to a zombie prom.

There were similar events elsewhere, as towns and villages hosted their own ghoulish celebrations. At Lisnaskea, Share outdoor activity centre put on an evening of spooky events, including a trip on a ghost ship with story-telling and games.

Springhill House and Estate in Co Londonderry also got in on the action, offering those brave enough an opportunity to tour one of our most haunted houses.

And at the Navan Centre in Armagh, Hansel and Gretel met up with Halloween daredevils at the witches' house in the woods, while Ballycastle had a parade of floats and fancy dress before its seafront fireworks finale.

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