Belfast - Derry~Londonderry and Strabane, the official “Best Hallowe'en Destination in the world”, is gearing itself up for the best Halloween celebration yet, when the Irish City and District celebrates 30 years of being spooktacular.

This year's Hallowe'en celebration is themed “Out of this World” and promises to be just that with a packed programme of events and activities for revellers of all ages to enjoy and participate in.

Among the key highlights of the festival include a welcome return of the Awakening of the Walls when the ancient City Walls will come to life with music, animation and light, creating a realm of fantasy fire and flame from October 28 to 30 from 18h00-20h00 each night.

Other highlights include spooky Gothic organ recitals at the Guildhall on the evening of Sunday October 30, terrifying haunted tours at the Tower Museum, Weird and Wonderful Witches Tales at the Guildhall, a Hallowe'en panto at Strabane's Alley Theatre, Monstrous Halloween workshops and Storytelling at Strabane Community Library and family entertainment including mask making workshops and arts and crafts at the Craft Village.

Jacqueline Whoriskey Festival and Events Manager for the Council says preparations are at an advanced stage for this year's festival with Council pulling out all the stops to make sure the 30th anniversary of the festival is truly special for the people of Derry~Londonderry and Strabane.

“Preparations are well underway and we are delighted to have up to 600 carnival participants taking part in workshops and rehearsals for the Carnival Parade.

“The Out of this World theme encourages people to be creative and think outside the box for their costumes and we are really looking forward to seeing some magical creations and designs taking part.

“We are delighted with the variety of the programme and the fact that cultural venues, shops and theatres in both Derry and Strabane have come up trumps in terms of organising events and activities to complement our festival,” she added.

Adapted from a press release for IOL

* To find out more about all the events taking place in the City of Bones in the run up to and during Hallowe'en check out the full programme at www.derrystrabane.com/halloween