Thousands on parade as Apprentice Boys open marching season

The official launch of the 2017 parading season has been marked with up to 4,600 people from across the British Isles taking part in the Apprentice Boys of Derry Easter parade in Ballynahinch.

Christopher Cunningham, secretary of the Belfast and District amalgamated committee, said some 45 feeder parades fed into the main Co Down event.

The morning feeder parades, hosted by various local amalgamated committees, took place right across Northern Ireland, he said.

Then a religious service took place in Ballynahinch at noon, ahead of the single unified parade in the town, beginning at 12.30pm.

Up to 3,000 members of the Apprentice Boys took part in the event with the rest of the 4,600 participants made up of over 140 marching bands.

In addition, the town was thronged with crowds of spectators who massed to enjoy the spectacle of music and colour.

The procession was so long that it took around an hour to pass any given point of the route around the town.

Starting at Ballynahinch football ground the parade began at 12.30pm and wound its way through the town until 3.30pm without stopping, concluding at Lisburn Street where the governor of the association, James Brownlee, took the salute from members.

Published on the 17th of April 2017
Article taken from the News Letter

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