Carnival Care

Enjoy Halloween Safely, Enjoy Halloween Sensibly 

Make your plans with us and be part of an event for all the family. 
 Winner of the ‘Best Hallowe’en Destination’ in the World, the annual outdoor Halloween Celebration now welcomes over 100,000 people to City and District from far and wide with a packed programme of events. As part of the event, Derry City and Strabane District Council, in association with agencies has initiated a Carnival Care Campaign to raise awareness of the need for responsible behaviour at this time. 


Remember the Event areas are all alcohol free family areas and stewards will be at hand to ensure you enjoy the event with your family. Make sure you check your travel arrangements and arrival times.



·     Friday 28th – Monday 31st October

·     Daytime activities including Markets and Music 12 noon – 9pm

·     Awakening the Walled City – City Centre and St Columb’s Park 6pm – 9pm

·     Parade start time: 7pm

·     Fireworks Display Start Time: 8pm Derry and Strabane 7pm

·     Homeward bound: 8.30pm


·     31st October

·     Fireworks Display Start Time: Strabane 7pm

Key Safety Messages

·     Be mindful of others – we are all emerging from lockdown, some people may be more nervous than others. Give people space, be considerate, look out for each other!

·     Expect to see some people – lots of people! Be aware that visitor numbers may be high – measures will be in place to manage crowds and keep things running smoothly.

·     Please proceed with caution when mixing in large crowds, be aware of your surroundings in relation to social distancing, adopt good  personal safety measures and  make regular use of the hand sanitising stations,  these stations will be situated throughout the event space. Please stay safe.

·     Dress to suit the weather – and wear comfy shoes, your feet will thank you. The Awakening the Walled City trail takes place over a wide area, and there’s plenty of time, so meander through the worlds at your leisure.

·     If Symptomatic of COVID 19 symptoms please stay at home. 

·     Walter says – wrap up this Halloween – our spooky Samhain spirits should be the only ones giving you the shivers!

·     For little ghosts and ghouls – hop on a Translink shuttle bus to be magically transported through the portal to other worlds. Buses will operate between the NW Transport Hub and Foyle Street Bus Depot from 5pm – 10pm Friday Oct 28 – Sunday Oct 30.

·     The Derry Halloween programme will operate over four nights. Why not spread your visit over two or more nights to enjoy the sights and sounds at your leisure?

·     Get the best out of this year’s terrorific celebrations. Download the Derry Halloween app for all the latest programme info. – coming soon!

·     Plan your visit – download a map and see where the trail takes you. From parking to eating out – it’s always best to plan ahead!

·     If possible use public transport – avoid the hassle of traffic and parking and hop on board a bus or train.

·     This Halloween safety comes first! Avoid a nightmare experience by following the guidance, planning your visit and heeding the advice of stewards and Council staff.

·     The Parade is back! We all love them but we want to enjoy them safely. Find a good spot -. Spread out, give people space and let’s light up the sky once again this Halloween.

·     For the latest guidance from the Government and health authorities regarding Covid 19, visit

Carnival Care Campaign initiatives include:

·     Safety in the City & District is a key priority and many agencies work together to plan and manage events that are safe and minimise the misuse of alcohol. A large number of stewards and PSNI officers will be on duty to provide information and assistance.  Police will be monitoring and seizing alcohol from anyone under the age of 18 and dealing with any street drinking. 

·     Community Safety Wardens employed by Derry City and Strabane District Council will be working in the estates and educational precinct to provide advice and assistance to anyone that they perceive to be in need. This will include directing people, who need to get home or to accommodation or advise on local transportation provision. 

·     Event stewards, staff from community organisations, local volunteers, Youth Services ,Council and police will be on the ground working pro-actively together as a positive presence, providing support and helping to ensure alcohol misuse is minimised.

·     Police will be working with licenced premises in the run up to the event and will be carrying out visits to off-sales and licenced premises to liaise with staff regarding obligations.  Police will also checking that Licensed Premises are operating ‘Challenge 21’ systems.   

·     Fireworks Safety

When buying fireworks, only buy from a licensed retailer. All retailers must display a warning notice stating “It is illegal to sell Category F1 (Indoor) fireworks to anyone under the age of 16, Category F2 (Garden) and Category F3 (Display) fireworks to anyone under the age of 18”. The notice must be prominently displayed so that it can be easily read by persons at the point of sale.   Retailers are required to display their certificates of registration at the point of sale. 

Remember if using fireworks, follow the Firework Safety Code – for more information view 

Advice for Parents

·     Discuss and agree where your child will be on the night.

·     Discuss and agree with your child on a reasonable time to be home.

·     Discuss and agree with your child on how they will get to and from an event.

·     Arrange a meeting point e.g. Guildhall, The Diamond or the City Hotel.

·     You and your child should ensure that you can be contacted. It is wise to have a friend’s number and/or have the phone number and address of the event (if practical).

·     If your child is going to a friend’s house, find out which adults will be present. 

·     Never drink and drive.

·     Make sure your mobile phone is charged and if possible you have credit (however remember that emergency 999 calls are always free);

·     As a parent/responsible adult, it would be wise to moderate your alcohol intake in case of emergency.  If you have agreed to be a driver in case of an emergency, avoid drinking alcohol.

Teenagers & Hallowe’en

·     Be organised

·     Accompany your teenagers into the town centre, know where they are and arrange to meet up or have their travel plans in place when the event is over

·     Taxi points are available

 Child Welfare

With large crowds and vast event sites please ensure that your child is by your side at all times.  We would encourage parents to take one of the free risk bands being handed out by stewards and at the info points and write your contact number on before placing these around your child’s wrist.  This is to ensure that if your child does wonder off they can be reunited much quicker with their parents.  Please be mindful that some of the areas are quite dark with many pathways we would ask parents to be extra vigilant in those spaces i.e St Columb’s Park. 

Halloween Costume Safety 

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health team are trying to raise awareness in the run up to Halloween, in order to reduce the risks that costumes and accessories can pose for children.

Anyone planning to buy a Halloween costume online or from local suppliers is urged to check labels and packaging to ensure they are fully safety compliant and from a recognised retailer.

Costumes intended for use by children must carry the necessary labelling and important CE safety mark.

The following safety advice is available from as part of their ‘Put safety first at Halloween’ message.

Parents should be aware of the potential dangers of their children wearing fancy dress costumes, either shop bought or home-made, if they’re around fireworks, sparklers, or open flames (such as pumpkins with candles). 

If a child is wearing a fancy dress costume this Halloween:

·     keep them away from naked flames – avoid using a naked flame or candle in pumpkins; use a torch, glow stick or battery-operated candle

·     stop, drop and roll if clothing does catch on fire – to try to put the flames out and also to stop the flames from rising towards the face

·     choose a costume and mask that doesn’t restrict a child’s visibility or vision

·     make sure they wear woollen tights or ‘heavy’ trousers (jeans) and a woollen jumper under the costume

·     supervise them well at all times

Look out for costumes that are labelled ‘Low Flammability’ ‘BS5722’ or have the European code ‘BS EN 14878’.

Alcohol – Key Messages


Remember the Event areas are all alcohol free family areas and stewards will be at hand to ensure you enjoy the event with your family. Make sure you check your travel arrangements and arrival times.

Everyone playing their part

Our Hallowe’en celebrations is a time to celebrate but we want to encourage everyone to play their part in making it a successful event.


“Enjoy the Craic” but behave responsibly and be aware that the way in which you behave will be an example to younger members of your family. 
Be a positive role model for children and young people attending the event. Take responsibility for your child/young person’s whereabouts and behaviour. 
 It is illegal to purchase alcohol for under 18s – commonly known as proxy purchasing.  Anyone found to be buying alcohol for minors or sending them to buy alcohol, could face a fine of up to £5000 or prison of up to 6 months or both. 


Enjoy the Carnival but be safe. Agree a safe meeting point. 
Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to be part of the celebration. For young people, drinking Alcohol is harmful as your body is still developing. 
Binge drinking makes you ill and damages your health. You are at greater risk of accidents and assaults. It makes you unsafe. It ruins your night as well as others. 
 The police will be monitoring and seizing alcohol from anyone under 18. It’s ok not to drink. The longer you delay drinking alcohol the less likely it is you will have problems in your later life.

Advice for Young People

Under 18 Entertainment & Homeward Bound

·     Entertainment will finish at 9pm and in Strabane at 7.30pm

Enjoy the Night safely and sensibly

·     Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to be part of the night.

·     The police will be monitoring and seizing alcohol from anyone under 18

·     Know your limits

·     Avoid alcohol when feeling down

·     Do not mix drink and drugs

·     Do not leave your friends

 Plan your safe journey home

·     Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to be part of the night.

·     The police will be monitoring and seizing alcohol from anyone under 18.

·     Know your limits

·     Avoid alcohol when feeling down.

·     Do not mix drink and drugs.

·     Do not leave your friends.

·     Plan your safe journey home.

·     Make sure parents know your plans.

·     Have fun.

·     Arrange a meeting place if you and your friends get separated. (however, remember that emergency 999 calls are always free). 

·     Make sure your mobile phone is charged and if possible you have credit (however remember that emergency 999 calls are always free).

·     If you are going to a friend’s house, make sure your parents know which adults will be present;

·     Pubs, clubs and off licences will all check for ID on Hallowe’en night.

·     No one under 18 will be able to gain entry and all identification will be checked.

·     If they cannot recognise you from identification due to your costume you will be turned away.

  ID Requirement 

To ensure your safety, alcohol cannot be carried on the streets (and will be seized from anyone who cannot prove they are over 18), Stewards, community safety wardens and police officers will be on duty. 

Useful Numbers

For more information on the carnival care initiative contact   

Derry City Strabane District Council

028 7125 3253


028 7126 9327




0808 808 8000


0800 1111

Drink Aware


Community Crisis Intervention Service


Emergency Services (Police, Fire & Ambulance)


Police (Non-emergency)



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