The district’s patrons usually celebrate the annual holiday with the popular Hallowe’en ‘Twilight by Fairy Light’ event and firework display at Wallace Park.
Council officers confirmed on September 7 that due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions those celebrations would be stalled this year. However, they will be replaced with “smaller community and family focused events”.
The authority said that the events would take place in Castle Gardens and Moat Park which will include the animation of both parks.
The small-scale celebrations, which are expected to cost around £12,000, will also include Monster Mash dancing workshops and children’s theatre spooky tales, according to a council report.
However, Ulster Unionist councillor, Nicholas Trimble questioned how council officials could ensure the safety of those in attendance over the two-day period.
He said: “We know in previous years before Covid-19 what the council did at Halloween was incredibly popular and had a lot of people coming to it, so I am wondering that in the instance that too many people turn up, what we are doing we are doing so safely.”
Louise Moore, Director of Leisure and Community Wellbeing, said that plans were already underway to deliver a safe event in late October.
She added: “Behind the scenes you can imagine the work that goes on to ensure health and safety.
“We work right across the council with a range of officers and that includes our health and safety colleagues and that really is to make sure that we’re considering everything.
“There’s additional work [to do] without a doubt to make sure we’re doing everything correctly but the safety of our staff and customers is paramount to us.”
Acting Head of Communities, Anglea McCann said that the council expected the demand for tickets to be high and that there ‘not everyone will be pleased’.
She added: “Tickets for the event will be limited and therefore it’s likely that some people will be disappointed that they can’t get a ticket for the event but our utmost priority is the safety of those who are in attendance.”