Halloween in Derry/Londonderry is an important event to the region and taken very seriously by locals. During the previous Halloween of 2019, the city attracted record breaking numbers of spectators. More than 40,000 people lined the banks of the Foyle for the parade and fireworks finale. An estimated 120,000 people attended events over the festival's eight days. It has been widely celebrated in the city for over 30 years and continues to attract tourists from across the world. 

Last year, with the news that Halloween 2020 will be mostly cancelled saddened many local people that they will be missing out on celebrating the occasion for the first time in over 30 years.

Jacqueline Whoriskey, Event Manager of Derry Halloween speaks of the impact on the economy:

"We estimate that for every £1 spent on the festival, it brings an £8 return. It has a huge impact on the local economy if Halloween doesn't happen."

During the project, we met with Jim Collins, Project Manager of the North West Carnival Initiative, Jacqueline Whoriskey, Event Manager of Derry Halloween and local Historian, Mark Lusby who all tell the story of Halloween in Derry and why it is such a big occasion for us. The film explores the significance of Halloween in Derry, the impact of Halloween 2020 being cancelled, and most importantly the ambitious plans for Halloween 2021 and the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. 

Interviewing Jim Collins about the significance of Halloween in the city, he states: "Our own parade was born out of a time when, during the dark days of the troubles when there was a conflict - Halloween provided an opportunity for local people to dress up and forget about their worries."

This film was produced by Headliners Foyle and the young people of the Foyle Bureau: Josh, Canice, Oscar, Milo & Aodhan. 
This film was made possible thanks to the ongoing support of The National Lottery Community Fund.