Come See the Legions of Doom in Newcastle’s Hallowtides Parade


ONCE again the Newcastle Hallowtides Festival is drawing ghosts and ghouls from all dimensions to what promises to be an tremendous Halloween festival as crowds prepare to descend on the seaside town for plenty of fun and frolics.

Take a trip to Newcastle to witness this spectacular Float Parade led by our ‘little legions’ from local primary schools including St Joseph’s Primary School Carnacaville, Newcastle Primary School, St Mary’s Primary School Newcastle, Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, St Patrick’s Burrenreagh, Sacred Heart Primary School Dundrum, Castlewellan Primary School, and St. Mary’s Primary Aughlisnafinn.

The children have taken part in art workshops as preparation for the float parade as part of  Newcastle’s annual Hallowtides Festival on Saturday 3 November which will include a breathtaking mix of entertainment throughout the day and evening to keep the young and the young at heart happy.

Fright Nite at Hallowtides Festival. Sisters, Aimie Greene (11) and Sarah Greene (9) are preparing to spook all the visitors to Hallowtides Festival. A magnificent Float Parade and Fireworks, so grab your broom and fly onto the spooky seaside Promenade from 4.30pm.

Following on from last year’s success, we will welcome the arrival of the ‘Ghostbusters’ to our promenade as part of float parade that’s set to stupefy the crowds as it snakes its way from the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa to the festival stage. Local publicans O’Hare’s Lounge Bars, Harbour House Inn, The Anchor Bar, Quinn’s Multiplex Bar, the Donard Bar alongside The Scouts, Cafe Creme and Castlewellan Youth Club will make up the creepy cavalcade of bedazzling floats.  Come in costume and line the streets to cheer on this captivating display as you are entertained by an eclectic mix of characters including spooktacular stilt walkers who will scurry and scuttle amongst the floats adding to the magical atmosphere of the parade.

Many local sports groups including the Bryansford Gaelic Club, Jujitou , Boxing and Hockey Clubs alongside the Glee Musical Society will all be donning their costumes and stepping out into the twilight zone.  Over 350 children from the local schools and students from South Eastern Regional Colleges Downpatrick and Lisburn campuses all in themed displays and the Castlewellan Comhaltas group, local marching bands, the Crimson Arrows and St Malachy’s Kilkoo will add the musical element which will carry the parade on its journey to the festival stage. Come and watch Connor Phillips for magic mystery and mayhem as he announces the winning float and best school display. There’s something for everyone to enjoy with plenty of punch and pizzazz on offer from 5.30pm.

As a prelude to the festival on Friday 2 November Newcastle Cinema Club presents a fitting movie for our theme and spooktacular on a grand scale – a one off drive-in screening of the one and only “Ghostbusters”, So dig out those proton packs, and climb into your ectomobiles to join us for a great night of Halloween craic in the company of Messrs. Stantz, Venkman & Spengler. Tickets available online at

Tesco’s are entering into the spirit on Monday 29 October with a Pumpkin Competition for 8 – 12 year olds at 3pm. Bring along your pumpkins to Tesco on the Castlewellan Road and enter their pumpkin decorating competition. The best pumpkin will win a spooky surprise. This is followed by a Halloween Fancy Dress Competition for 3 – 7 year olds so enter their Halloween Fancy Dress Competition – a treat for every child who enters and prizes for overall winners!

Ghostbusters search the Slieve Donard Resort for Paranormal Activity. Ciaran Harper, Ryan Meehan  and Peter Jones, Art and Design students from South Eastern Regional College, Downpatrick Campus, are The Hallowtides Ghostbusters€™.

On Wednesday 31 October there will be a Bonfire Beacon at Glen River Car Park from 6.30pm so join Greenhill YMCA & Down Policing & Community Safety Partnership as the community light the Bonfire Beacon, loads of entertainment and family fun for everyone to enjoy. The bonfire beacons have been funded by the PEACE III programme through the Special EU Programme Body and delivered by the North Down, Ards, and Down Peace III Partnership.

After you have warmed up at the Bonfire Beacon why not take a stroll down the “Enchanted Trail?” – if you dare! From 7pm – 10pm you will encounter magical characters, scary monsters and spooky surprises. Free shuttle bus from Newcastle Leisure Centre to Tollymore Forest Park with every advanced ticket purchased. (limited numbers apply).  Adults £6; Children £4; (U-16 must be accompanied by an adult) Contact Gary Parr 07739 210119 (pre-booking applies))

In Downpatrick, Down County Museum will guide you through their Nightmare on English Street, exploring scary Halloween traditions and gruesome goings on at the Old Gaol. On Wednesday 31 October don’t miss the Monster Halloween Party at Down County Museum from 2.00pm – 5.00pm, with circus shows, storytelling, music and magic it’s one not to miss. Contact 028 4461 5218 for full details. At the Downpatrick and County Down Railway you can meet the ghosts on the platforms and maybe encounter their on board spooky travellers.

Contact 028 4461 2233 for full details or check out With lots more happening throughout the district this is one Halloween celebration you won’t want to miss.

For your FREE Festival Programme contact the Festival Hotline on 028 4372 2222 or for full details of where and when, visit


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