Crowds gather for finale of three-day Halloween festival

The final evening of the festival on Sunday coincided with the reopening of nightclubs in Northern Ireland for the first time in 19 months.

Halloween 2021
Halloween 2021

Northern Ireland’s biggest Halloween festival has concluded with a spectacular firework display across Lough Foyle.

Thousands travelled to the north west for the three-day event, which returned to Londonderry this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the traditional Halloween parade did not take place, crowds were entertained by an array of street entertainment including a giant spider Arachnobot, aerial performances in the Diamond and fire and aerial performances at St Columb’s Park.

Despite heavy rain falling across the city over the evening, theatre group Spark proved a popular draw with their interactive LED drumming displays along the historic streets of the city.

Across the centre city there was a steady stream of people crossing the Peace Bridge to watch the Awakening The Walled City visual display at Ebrington Square, the redeveloped site of a former army barracks.

Halloween 2021
People enjoying the final night of the three-day Halloween festival in Londonderry, which returned this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic (Joe Boland/PA)

Festival events also took place in Buncrana just across the Irish border in Co Donegal as well as Strabane in what is thought to have been the largest event to have taken place on the island since the start of the pandemic.

The final evening of the festival on Sunday coincided with the reopening of nightclubs in Northern Ireland for the first time in 19 months.

Other lockdown relaxations which came into force in Northern Ireland at noon on Sunday included customers being able to move around hospitality venues, indoor dancing and the need for social distancing in hospitality settings moved to guidance.

While so-called vaccine passports have not been made mandatory, venues can ask those entering for “proof of their Covid status”.

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