By Rebecca Black, PA
Bumper Halloween festivities in Derry are set to provide an “important platform” for local businesses in challenging times.
More than 100,000 visitors are set to descend on Derry later this month for the annual celebrations the city has become renowned for.
Pulp Fiction star and Derry native Bronagh Gallagher said she believes this year will be the “best ever” as the festival returns to full strength for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Running from October 28th-31st, events will take place at 14 locations across the city as well as Strabane and Donegal, culminating in a finale evening in Derry with a carnival parade and fireworks display.;
Ms Gallagher said: “I’m just so pleased to see the festival back to full strength after the pandemic and I have no doubt 2022 will be one of the best Halloweens the city has ever staged. I want to wish everyone at home and everyone visiting Derry a wonderful Halloween.”
Visit Derry chief executive Odhran Dunne said festivals are a key part of the tourism economy.
“Halloween in Derry has grown to become a truly international event with over 100,000 people attending annually,” he said.
“In 2019 we estimated that for every £1 spent on the festival it brought an £8 return which was a great boost for the local economy with the festival also shining the international spotlight on this part of Northern Ireland.
“While council continues to review expenditure going forwards, in the midst of this cost-of-living crisis it’s important to provide support where possible to continue to grow our local economy and our hospitality sector.
“Businesses are in a critical period of recovery following the Covid pandemic, and they too are impacted by rising costs.
“International events such as Derry Halloween provide an important platform for local businesses in our tourism, hospitality and retail sectors to engage with new customers and showcase local products and services.
“The festival also provides excellent value for money with free events taking place right across the city to help families enjoy Halloween without breaking the bank.”