Getting your skates on for ‘world’s best’ Halloween city

You know you’re in the best Halloween city in the world when a dog walks past you with a spider’s outfit on.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 6:00 am

But you don’t have to dress up as a spooky ghoul or wicked witch to enjoy Derry/ Londonderry’s now globally famous Samhain celebrations.

On Halloween night there were drunken sailors, a not -very-wise Confucius, a family of Super Marios. Even Scooby Do and Shaggy got a look in.

But Derry Halloween is not about your ‘cozzie’ – it’s about letting your hair down and joining in: ghouls just wanna have fun. And if you want a post-Halloween giggle check out Instagram sensation Joe Hill’s hilarious - and now LegenDerry - rollerskate down rain-lashed Waterloo Street last Sunday night.

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Ghostly appearances in the Diamond during the Halloween weekend

Wearing a white Saturday Night Fever tuxedo and afro party wig, professional skater Joe has since been hosted by Derry City and Strabane mayor, alderman Graham Warke in his parlour after a video of his high-speed skate while balancing a pint went viral.

Tweeting a picture, the DUP mayor said: “Brilliant to welcome the man of the moment Joe Hill to the Parlour following his dare-devil roller skate down Waterloo Street on Sunday night.

“Joe confirmed to me that his pint remained intact following his descent in testing conditions.”

Bubbling and brewing for many months ‘Derry Halloween’ 2021 delivered some out-of-this-world fancy dress with a spook-tacular visual and musical experience for around 90,000 visitors.

Glenn Millar with his children, Jack, Rose, Michael and Katie from Draperstown. Picture Martin McKeown

Despite being cancelled due to Covid last year, the frighteningly fun festival returned across five different worlds – three in the city itself and one each in Strabane and Donegal - each representing a different spirit of Samhain.

Described by USA Today as the ‘best Halloween destination in the world’, Carl Frampton MBE, the former two-weight world boxing champion, was simply knocked out by the first class entertainment.‘The Jackal’ tweeted pictures of his first visit to the Halloween capital saying: “Brilliant weekend away to Derry/Londonderry with the family for Halloween. What a city!!”

But the Belfast boxing legend wasn’t the only sporting hero soaking up the unique city atmosphere on Halloween night.

Tyrone’s all-Ireland winning captain Padraig Hampsey met fans and enjoyed a well-earned pint at the buzzing Peadar O’Donnell’s pub in the city.

Fright fever: Derry and Strabane mayor Graham Warke greets Instagram sensation, skater Joe Hill to his parlour

And award-winning Ireland correspondent at BBC News, Emma Vardy, was another who took to social media to hail Derry-Londonderry’s unrivalled Halloween package.

Tweeting a photo of herself in Halloween dress, she gushed: “Happy Samhain from the City of Bones! Finally made it to #DerryHalloween and the city looked absolutely stunning. Something I’ve wanted to experience ever since I came to Northern Ireland.”

And even before the superb Halloween fireworks display over the Foyle had ended – with family and friends soaked by rain and gales - Derry City and Strabane District Council had begun planning for Halloween 2022. So plenty of time for all of you to get your costume sorted for next year then...

A message from the Editor:

Knockout: Belfast boxer Carl Frampton and family enjoyed the LegenDerryHalloween celebrations

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