Quickly becoming one of the West’s biggest festivals, Ballina’s Samhain Abhainn returns for yet another year of scares. The festival, which last year saw an unprecedented turn-out for its main event – the Fanta Scary Woods Walk, is sure to make a huge impression again this year. Haunting the streets of Ballina from the 25th to the 31st of October, ‘Samhain Abhainn’ will celebrate all things ghoulish with a cauldron of unique, hair-raising events:
On Sunday and Monday experience the mystical Belleek Woods by day as it gears up for the ‘Fanta Scary Woods Walk’. Venture into the wicked woodland and witness the eerie sights and screeching sounds of the haunted forest (suitable for younger children).
On Tuesday and Wednesday conjure up your own fearsome Halloween costume. The Costume Company will host a costume workshop for children between the ages of 5 and 12 in the Ballina Stephenites (call 096 72154 for bookings).
The ‘Fanta Scary Woods Walk’, the jewel in the crown of this spellbinding festival, will transform Ballina’s Belleek Forest into a haunted woodland filled with ghosts and ghouls for three chilling nights of spooky walks, from Wednesday to Friday. Those who dare enter will be led on a chilling expedition sure to quicken the pulse. Make sure to bring your flash light and don’t be left in the dark!
On Thursday and Friday the Jackie Clarke Collection will be brewing toil and trouble with ‘Spooky Scéals’. Children under 12 will be invited to attend a series of creepy ghost story readings in the eerie surroundings of the Collection (call 096 73508 for bookings).
On Halloween Day head to the Ballina Arts Centre from 10am to 2pm for a spooky pumpkin carving workshop (suitable for all ages) where you will be given all you need to carve and conjure a ghostly pumpkin (call 087 214 6434 for bookings). Afterwards, march on to ‘Trick or Treat for Temple Street’ in Costa Coffee from 4pm to 6pm, for face painting, arts and crafts, a mini disco and lots more fun.
The festival attracts young and old alike during the Halloween break in Ballina. The aim of the festival is to provide something for everyone to enjoy on Halloween, whether you are looking for a creepy murder mystery trail, a big night out on the town in your finest costume or a scary walk in the woods for the kids to relish, Ballina is the place to be.
The Fanta Scary Wood’s Walk sponsored by Ballina Beverages is the jewel in the crown of this spellbinding festival transforming Ballina’s Belleek Forest into a haunted woodland filled with ghosts and ghouls. Those who dare enter will be led on a chilling expedition sure to quicken the pulse.
The unique Irish historical context of Halloween will be a big feature of the festival. First celebrated as a pagan festival back in 100AD, the Celts marked the season of Halloween or ‘Samhain’, an old Irish word meaning the ‘end of summer’. Fast-forward 2000 years and Ballina is building on Irish history in celebrating Samhain Abhainn – a summers-end festival on the banks of the River Moy. This Halloween the town will be transformed into a land of magic, mystery and myth, waiting for you, your family, and friends to come and enjoy. In a celebration of all things spooky and scary, and heavily influenced by Irish traditions and customs, Ballina’s Samhain Abhainn looks set to be bigger and better this year and add to its reputation as the West of Ireland’s premier family festival.