Entertainment Festivals

Monday 5 December 2016

Ghouls go down a treat for Halloween weekend

Feast of family fun on a fright night full of ghosts and goblins

Grainne Loughran

Published 01/11/2016 | 02:30

Brothers Bobby and Arlo Bishop, from Kinsale, Co Cork, got into the spirit at the annual Kinsale Halloween parade last night. The event in Cork was just one of many across the country to celebrate Oíche Shamhna. Photo: John Allen
Brothers Bobby and Arlo Bishop, from Kinsale, Co Cork, got into the spirit at the annual Kinsale Halloween parade last night. The event in Cork was just one of many across the country to celebrate Oíche Shamhna. Photo: John Allen

Young and old got into the spirit of Halloween around the country with a feast of parades, trick or treating and even a Dracula Disco.

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Children rounded off the Bank Holiday weekend with a bang as costumes ranged from gruesome ghouls to princesses.

Veronica Oldwin (5), with PJ O’Halloran (5) and his sister Sally, all from East Wall in Dublin,
got dressed up for the Bram Stoker Festival as part of the Halloween celebrations in Dublin’s
Temple Bar last night. Photo: Damien Eagers
Veronica Oldwin (5), with PJ O’Halloran (5) and his sister Sally, all from East Wall in Dublin, got dressed up for the Bram Stoker Festival as part of the Halloween celebrations in Dublin’s Temple Bar last night. Photo: Damien Eagers

One of the highlights in the capital was the annual Macnas parade, which returned to the streets of Dublin as part of the Bram Stoker Festival.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the Sleep No More parade marked by the the 30th anniversary of the arts group.

The parade was the biggest it has been yet however, covering much more of the city and attracting families into town.

Bram Stoker Festival Director Tom Lawlor said the parade was one of a kind for the city.

Olivia Evans (4) and brother Nathan (6), from Kilmainham in Dublin, were all dressed up for
Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin last night. Photo: Damien Eagers
Olivia Evans (4) and brother Nathan (6), from Kilmainham in Dublin, were all dressed up for Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin last night. Photo: Damien Eagers

"What we wanted to do was bring Macnas through streets broad and narrow, the real Dublin," he said.

Clyde Carroll of DublinTown who is on the Bram Stoker steering committee, said the event was "incredible" to see.

"I was amazed at how many people turned out and there was people four and five deep the whole way down," he said.

"I'd imagine in excess of 10,000 people showed up. I can only see it getting bigger and bigger every year. The ambition of Bram Stoker festival to be a second St Patrick's Day."

Kiki O’Keeffe, from Cork, with Sienna Kane, from Belfast, at the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin last night. Photo: Damien Eagers
Kiki O’Keeffe, from Cork, with Sienna Kane, from Belfast, at the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin last night. Photo: Damien Eagers

Bram Stoker is run by Dublin City Council and Failte Ireland.

Kinsale, Co Cork, also saw an impressive turnout for its Halloween parade.

There was colourful facepainting on kids, but the adults were not to be outdone either as the older generation also put in an impressive display.

Back in the capital, a Dracula Disco at the Ark Theatre in Temple Bar had young witches and vampires practising their dance moves.

Amile Hai, from Germany, got into the spirit with some zombie make-up as she watched the Macnas performers in Dublin. Photo: Collins
Amile Hai, from Germany, got into the spirit with some zombie make-up as she watched the Macnas performers in Dublin. Photo: Collins

Visitors came from near and far for the eerie event - one of several held during the bank holiday weekend.

Amelie Mulhall and her family live in the south of France but come to Ireland every year specifically for the Halloween festivities.

She and her children Sean (5) and Evanna (5) enjoyed the activities yesterday.

"We like to come to Ireland to celebrate Halloween. We bring our kids here just for this special day," she told the Irish Independent. "In Ireland you can feel the atmosphere in the streets. The kids are really looking forward to trick or treating, because we don't do it in France. They're going to bring photos back to show in school."

Vinod Malik and his sons Benjamin (3) and Joshua (5) were enjoying a jam-packed bank holiday weekend.

The Macnas arts company holds a Halloween parade in Dublin city centre as part of the capital's Bram Stoker festival. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The Macnas arts company holds a Halloween parade in Dublin city centre as part of the capital's Bram Stoker festival. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

"These guys went to the Bram Stoker Festival yesterday at St Patrick's so we've had a busy weekend," he said. "They're going to get dressed up this afternoon and go to see the parade on Henry Street after a break.

"School's off, so why not," he said, adding there were more events on in the city this year than he'd seen since he moved here from India 20 years ago.

Barbara Kelly, from Knocklyon, in south Dublin, was also attending the Dracula Disco with her daughter, who was dressed as a pop star.

"We're here at the disco and then we're looking forward to going trick or treating," she said.

"We're hoping to get loads and loads of sweets."

Aisling O'Gorman, the music programmer at the Ark, said the events the theatre had run over the Bank Holiday weekend were jam-packed.

"We've been inundated, it's been so busy.

"We're way more popular than we anticipated," she said.

"Everyone seems to be enjoying it.

"People are coming out a bit more because of the weather."

PJ (5) and Sally (3) O'Halloran from Mount Merrion, in South Dublin, along with Veronica Oldwin (5), from East Wall in Dublin, were making the most of the unseasonal warm weather yesterday.

They enjoyed terrifying passers-by with their scary costumes.

They had plenty of plans for the evening, including trick or treating.

Veronica Jasior and her three children enjoyed the festivities.

"They're off school, so it's always busy when they're off," she said.

Irish Independent

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