Final touches on Longford’s Dead of Night Festival 2023 featuring the ‘Fire and Shadow’ Samhain Procession
Join the festivities over the Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend
Press Release: 24 October 2023
Longford County Council, community volunteers and Fáilte Ireland are busy this week, putting the final touches in place ahead of the return to Longford of the infamous Dead of Night Festival this bank holiday weekend.
The festival will take place this year over the entire Halloween bank holiday weekend kicking off on Friday, 27 October and concluding with a spectacular Samhain Procession and fire beacon finale in Connolly Barracks on Halloween night Tuesday, 31 October.
If you and your family want to join the festivities over the bank holiday weekend, keep on reading for all the information you need!
The Samhain Town event offers family fun in Connolly Barracks, from 12 noon to 5.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Come and join us for a day of spooky family activities in the safe and secure surrounds of spooky Connolly Barracks, which has something for all ages to enjoy.
Little ones may visit the Pumpkin Patch to choose their favourite and then bring it with them to the Halloween Craft Tent where they can decorate it, a tombstone and/or make a mask to wear at the Samhain Procession!
Older children and the adults may enjoy the haunted house experience in the old army headquarters, if they’re brave enough! The climbing wall and archery will also keep busy fingers and twitching feet engaged, while Mum and Dad enjoy a treat from the craft food markets.
Meanwhile, the music and entertainment on offer in the Big Top will include storytelling, a circus act and street performers.
Tickets for Samhain Town are available via LongfordCoCo.ie/Halloween or on TicketTailor.com.
On Halloween Night, the Dead of Night Festival brings back the traditional Samhain Procession, but this time in the form of the fantastic Fire and Shadows Procession, starting from Earl Street Longford at 7pm, with its fiery finale ending up with a stormy spectacle in Connolly Barracks.
Samhain mythology is interwoven with tales of creatures of nature. On Halloween night (Tuesday, 31 October) in Longford, the tribes of the owl, the fox, the stag and the crow will cross over from the otherworld to stalk the streets of Longford town.
Led by fire dancers and the Bula Bula Samba Band, the parade will weave its way from Earl Street from 7pm. Our Samhain Lanterns (made by primary school students from Longford Town) and their little makers will join in at Ballymahon Street.
The parade will culminate in a fierce and fiery story telling spectacle and finale at Connolly Barracks where the Samhain fire beacon will be lit to banish the spirits back to the otherworld!
Music, street performers and entertainment will follow until 10pm. Food vendors such as Pizza Depot and Rogans Hotdogs will keep the bellies full.
Other activities in Longford Town and wider county
In conjunction with Longford Local Enterprise Office, there is a great schedule of activities taking place from Friday, 27 to Tuesday, 31 October, including some great night time events at Eddie Valentines, PV’s, Andy Byrnes and the Tallyho Bar. Prizes for best fancy dress are up for grabs at all venues across the weekend.
Everyone is encouraged to take a wander around Longford Town on Friday, 27 October to judge the Wicked Windows Competition for themselves. Formal judging is due to take place on that day, with €300 for the winning business or home with the best seasonal and most sustainable window display.
On Halloween evening, there are some great activities to keep you busy before the procession gets underway:
- Torc Café is running a Chocolate Workshop from 6pm. Make a spooky chocolate hand
- Pig Market Lane is open from 5pm to 9pm with food, music and stories. Come in early with the kids for creepy crepes, spooky sausages and kids games
- The Ukrainian Craft Centre (Grafton Court) is running a Craft Workshop from 7pm to 10 pm
There are also number of fright-tastic Halloween activities taking place around the county over the weekend:
- Féile na Samhna - Corlea and Keenagh includes a fantastic schedule of events over the whole weekend including the Puca Spooka Quest and Halloween at Keenagh Harbour on Sunday, 29 October
- Pig Market Lane Samhain Market on Sunday, 29 October and Monday, 30 October
- Family Halloween Party in Lisryan on Monday, 30 October
- Ballinamuck Spooky Drive on Monday, 30 October
- Monster Mayhem at Longford Libraries on Friday, 27 October and Tuesday, 31 October
The Dead of Night Festival is a Night-Time Economy initiative brought to you in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Failte Ireland. The Fire and Shadows Procession is supported by Milestone Inventive and Spraoi Street Theatre and will feature characters from Knights and Conquests, Granard; Mostrim Youth Players, Backstage Youth Theatre and the Ukranian Community in Longford.
For further information check out Longfordcoco.ie/Halloween or follow Longford County Council on social media.