THE COUNCIL may have cancelled its Halloween fireworks display again this year, but the businesses in Enniskillen are coming together to make sure the community can still celebrate this most ancient of festivals in the county town come October.
Plans are still in the early stages, but already Enniskillen BID has met with its members – made up of the local business community – and is planning on holding a family-friendly event on October 31st to give people an event to gather at and keep people in the town.
The plan comes after the Council confirmed it would not be hosting a Halloween event in either Enniskillen or Omagh again last year, and after it cancelled its celebrations at the eleventh hour last year.
BID manager Noelle McAloon said local business had missed out on thousands of pounds in trade each with last year’s last minute cancellation. Following the fall out from that, she said BID then held “a very positive meeting” with the Council at the end of March, during which the Council informed them it had not budgeted for Halloween again this year.
“We came back as a BID board, we grouped and looked at our budget for the year,” she said. “We then sent out a survey to the businesses, all the BID members, about a month ago.”
The overwhelming response was that the businesses were in favour of BID organising its own one-day event in the town, with the hope the Council would resume its celebrations in years to come.
While there will be no fireworks as part of the celebrations – given the many factors involved, not least health and safety issues which are best handled by a local authority – Ms McAloon was already full of ideas, and is open to more ideas from the community.
“What we have said is October 31st will come, it’s a Tuesday, and at the minute there is no reason for anyone to stay in Enniskillen,” she said.
“We feel if we could put on something in town, that will bring some footfall and that will have a positive affect on our businesses, who are at the forefront of our minds, but also we think we can deliver something that will allow people to come in to town, so they don’t have to travel an hour and a half to another city to be entertained on that day.”
So far, Ms McAloon has envisioned an evening where the town centre is closed off, with giant inflatables such as pumpkins, a ghost train, and with live displays in shop windows. Again, though, she said BID welcomed activity ideas from the public.
Ms McAloon added that while she understood the Council did not have a Halloween budget this year, she hoped it could provide BID with in-kind support from its personnel in areas such as health and safety.
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