Belfast Telegraph

Derry Halloween extravaganza was ‘warm-up act’ for 2013 Culture party

By Donna Deeney

The success of this year's Halloween celebrations in Londonderry will be used as a template for an even bigger extravaganza to mark the City of Culture year in 2013, according to the event organisers.

As the dust settles and the costumes are put away, the people behind the Halloween celebrations can look back on what has been hailed as a tremendous success.

The Carnival of Lights Parade attracted more than 800 participants and an estimated 30,000 spectators came into the city over the weekend bringing a much- needed boost to traders.

Gerard McColgan, event organiser with Derry City Council, was on the streets until the early hours of yesterday morning.

He told the North West Telegraph the success of Halloween in the city is down to the successful interagency working arrangement in place with council, the emergency services and the community and voluntary sector to ensure the event is family friendly and suitable for all.

He added: “There is a huge amount of planning that goes into an event like this and you always want it to go well but this year was important because it was the 25th anniversary of the council-organised event.

“Everyone worked well together to make it so successful and to keep it family focused.

“The effort that community groups and organisations put into the parade was incredible and I know went down really well with the spectators.

“In the days to come we will look at how this year's celebrations can be enhanced and built upon for the City of Culture title year.

“While there are already some ideas being talked about for City of Culture, nothing has been agreed but all I can say right now is that it will be one to remember.”

Hundreds of participants from various community and voluntary groups, schools and youth groups from across the North West brought spectacular colour and creativity to the city centre for the Carnival of Lights Parade.

The groups have been working for weeks with the help and support of the North West Carnival Initiative to create the amazing floats and puppets that brought an amazing procession of light to the city centre.

It's estimated that between 15- 20,000 people came out to view the carnival and fireworks display and enjoy the musical entertainment provided by Paul Casey, Belle Amie and the Killers of Leon.

The emergency services reported a relatively quiet night with numbers attending Altnagelvin's Accident & Emergency down slightly on last year.

Of the 66 people treated in A&E in the 24 hours between 9pm and 9am, none needed treatment for burns associated with fireworks, however four people under the age of 16 needed treatment for alcohol consumption.

Belfast Telegraph


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