Sunday 24 September 2017 07:45:22 AM

Hallowtides To Boost Newcastle Economy In Six Day Festival
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NEWCASTLE traders are hoping for a record turnout this month to mark Hallowtides, the six day programme of themed events from Down District Council.

Does Newcstle's Hallowtides Festival get any scarier than this?

Does Newcstle’s Hallowtides Festival get any scarier than this?

Running from 26-31 October, Hallowtides is not only a high profile event within its immediate region, it also attracts huge audiences to Northern Ireland’s favourite seaside town, making Newcastle a must-visit destination over the Halloween half term holidays.

The launch day with its fantastic and creative Carnival Parade and spectacular Fireworks Display annually attracts audiences of more than 25,000 and the resulting economic benefits provide an important fillip to the end of the Summer tourism season, giving visitors a timely reminder that the town remains open for business right through the year.

Looking forward to Hallowtides, Councillor Maria McCarthy, Chairman of Down District Council, said: “Hallowtides is a marvellous creative showcase for the diverse range of communities and organizations which get involved and is packed with superb, value for money events which we hope local families will come out and really enjoy.  However, our ambitions for Hallowtides are even more far-reaching.

Toasting Hallowtides 2013 with Stephen Meldrum, General Manager of the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Uncle Fester (aka Jim Surginor) and Down District Chairman Cllr Maria McCarthy who this week announced the theme of The Addams Family to add dark drama to Newcastle’s annual Halloween festivities.

Toasting Hallowtides 2013 with Stephen Meldrum, General Manager of the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Uncle Fester (aka Jim Surginor) and Down District Council Chairman Cllr Maria McCarthy announce the theme of The Addams Family to add dark drama to Newcastle’s annual Halloween festivities.

“Hallowtides has become a Halloween magnet for visitors who, we are happy to stay, spend their money in local shops, cafes, pubs, B&B’s and hotels.  Newcastle needs that business, particularly in what remains a tough economic climate.  We all need to work hard to keep our customers entertained and enthused … and coming back.

The Council’s events strategy is an important element of that campaign and the numbers we see flocking into the town for our key major attractions demonstrate the success of the policy in action.”

Newcastle’s businesses are strongly behind Hallowtides 2013, with the Chamber of Commerce this year taking on the role of organizing the highlight Hallowtides carnival parade which opens the celebrations on Saturday 26 October.

Newcastle Chamber Festival Steering Committee Chairman Jack O’Hare said: “We are delighted to be able to help shape this year’s event and to commit our time and enthusiasm to making it successful.  Events of this scale and appeal are hugely important to us and the boost in trade which they bring to the town and the wider region is extremely important.

“Traders from every sector are also showing their support for the Hallowtides programme with a great range of events, attractions and special offers.  From fancy dress competitions and themed shop window displays to face-painting, pumpkin carving and even freebies for the kids, it’s all here to be enjoyed.  We intend to show visitors that Newcastle appreciates its customers!”

Adding their contribution to the town’s Hallowtides celebrations will be the hospitality sector which is of vital importance to the local economy. Chairman Councillor Maria McCarthy added: “We have been hugely impressed to see our hospitality sector preparing, with imagination and energy, to capitalize on the opportunity which Hallowtides presents.

“Visitors will be welcomed with special packages in hotels and B&B’s, themed menus and family value offers in our cafes and restaurants and some great entertainment on the bill in the town’s vibrant pubs. This is a sector which is of central importance to Newcastle as a tourism destination and it is clearly very much ‘on the ball’.

“We all want to see a vibrant, bustling and commercially successful Newcastle and I commend the town’s commercial sector for all that they are doing to ensure the commercial as well as the community and social success of Hallowtides 2013.   I am confident that we’re going to have an amazing six days of seasonal celebrations and I invite everyone to come along and join in the fun!”

The colourful Hallowtides programme is available at any Down District Council outlet, including the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, or visit:

 www.downdc.gov.uk

Social media fans can check out

www.facebook.com/DownFestivals  or

 www.twitter.com/@DownFestivals to keep up to date with what’s happening at Hallowtides.