This weekend, Strokestown Town Team are presenting the inaugural ‘Nightmare on Bawn Street and Halloween Harvest Festival.’ It is a little-known fact, that the modern-day celebration of Halloween actually originated just a few miles from Strokestown, near Rathcroghan. The sub-committee of Strokestown Town Team who have organised the new festival say that this was one of the main reasons as to why they chose Halloween as a holiday to develop the festival around. Oweynagat, also known as, ‘the cave of the cats’ is the ancient entrance to the ‘otherworld’, and is located near the ancient royal site of Rathcroghan, Tulsk. This site was said to be the home of the Celtic Goddess of Battle, the Morrigan, and is a testing place where ancient Irish warriors went in order to prove themselves. It is from here that the origins of Halloween, the pagan festival of Samhain, developed.
This year, Strokestown is celebrating Halloween in style. The bank holiday weekend will be fun-packed for all the family. On Saturday, 27th October at 3 pm, the festivities will kick-off at the community centre where pumpkin picking and decorating will entertain the many children that are expected to attend until 4 pm, when the newly established Enchanted Croi Theatre will take to the stage. The newly formed theatre company based in Strokestown will entertain the crowds for a couple an hour before at 5 pm, the families in attendance will start to ‘trick or treat’ down Church Street to an evening of entertainment on Bawn Street, where the open-air festival begins. Between 6 pm and 9 pm, there will loads of music, fun, and games for everyone both young and old. Later that evening, the pubs around town will have a selection of music on offer for those who wish to dance the night away.
On Sunday, 28th October from 12.30 pm, there will be great excitement as the Halloween Harvest Festival kicks off on Bawn Street. The day will have something for everyone, with an old-fashioned thrasher in action all day, alongside what is promised to be a wonderful display of vintage vehicles by the Mid-Roscommon Vintage Club. Children will be entertained all day by a variety of traditional Halloween themed games, trick or treating, sheaf throwing, and berg go-karting. There will also be live music all day at the festival.
The climax of the weekend’s festival will be the fancy-dress ball taking place in the Percy French Hotel on Sunday night. The well-known music group, Late Night Radio Band, are set to blow the roof of the joint. The doors to the ball open at 9 pm, and with an admission charge of just five euro, this renowned and popular band will entertain the crowds until a DJ takes over til’ late. There will be spot prizes on the night and a prize for the best-costumed lady and gent of the ball.
This inaugural Halloween festival weekend in Strokestown has been organised by Strokestown Town Team CLG which is supported by Roscommon County Council. The committee involved has been working tirelessly for the last number of weeks to ensure the weekend is enjoyable for one and all and they hope that the various events which have been organised are supported.