“It just gets bigger and better with every year”.
The words used by one bystander to describe Longford town’s Halloween ‘Dead of Night’ Festival on Monday evening.
And judging by the huge crowds in attendance, which organisers believe may well have exceeded the 2,000 mark, that depiction couldn’t have been more apt as young and old tookto the streets of the county town to celebrate its sixth annual hosting.
From around 6pm, traffic both in and out of the town gradually drew to little more than a crawl as costumes of all colours and designs took over the county town, buoyed on by the sound of bagpipes and thundering drums.
For those sporting fancy dress, much of the evening’s overriding sense of celebration was as much directed to the fact the rain had stayed away as it was to the event itself.
Among those leading the steady procession down a strangely vehicle-less Main Street were a couple of intricately assemble floats plastered with the tag ‘Nevin’s Taxis’. Dozens of children wearing dark coloured cloaks, waving more than the occasional bright lantern followed next as passers-by stopped to take photos and cheer on those involved.
As the parade steadily made its way inside Connolly Barracks at the foot of the town, those sounds were soon replaced by more ghoulish tunes, typified by the likes of Michael Jackson’s hit single ‘Thriller’.
Not that any of that appeared to rub off on the huge stream of spectators who covered much of the barracks’ main entrance as festivities continued long into the evening.
Roll on ‘Dead of Night’ 2012.