An estimated 30,000 Orangemen, women and juniors will step out at 18 Twelfth venues across Northern Ireland on Thursday.
More than 700 bands, including 40 from Scotland, will lead the 1,400 lodges at various locations on a day which Orange Grand Master Edward Stevenson describes as “an enhanced cultural experience”.
The estimated number of lodge and band members and spectators at the parades is expected to be well in excess of 200,000, and, with good weather predicted, there could be record turn-outs.
“The Twelfth offers a unique opportunity for the Orange Institution and the bands to showcase our culture and heritage, and we welcome an increased number of visitors, tourists and families to all of our parades,” he said. “There are very few events on these islands that can bring such vast numbers of people onto the streets, either by taking part or simply to watch the music and pageantry.”
The demonstrations follow the Rossnowlagh parade in Co Donegal last Saturday. The Independent Orange Order will parade in Portrush.
This is the largest Twelfth demonstration, close to where the Orange Order was formed in 1795. Eleven districts will parade, with 155 private lodges and 5,000 brethren, including the county’s women’s and junior lodges.
The Co Armagh demonstration attracts more than 20,000 spectators, including many from border counties. Seventy bands, four from Scotland and several from Co Monaghan, will lead the lodges, along with dozens of Lambeg drums. Loughgall district is one of the most geographically spread in the county, with 22 lodges and 700 members. The district has the Diamond area within its boundaries, scene of the famous Battle of the Diamond on September 21, 1795.
The Loughgall parade passes the Museum of Orange Heritage at Sloan’s House, where the first Orange warrants were signed after the battle. The main parade, led by Drumderg Loyalists flute band, starts at 9.30am. Loughgall district will be followed by Richhill, Killylea, Lurgan, Newtownhamilton and Portadown districts; the remainder of the districts – Armagh, Markethill, Keady, Bessbrook and Tandragee will parade as they arrive. The field is at Portadown Road.
Armagh County Grand Master Denis Watson will preside and the main address is given by the Rev William Anderson, Loughgall District chaplain and new sovereign grand master of the Royal Black Institution. The four Bessbrook lodges, before leaving their village for Loughgall, will hold a remembrance service at the Kingsmills memorial for the 10 Protestants murdered in the 1976 IRA atrocity.
The city parade leaves Belfast Orange Hall, at Carlisle Circus, at 10am. As is tradition, the Millar Memorial flute band will lead the lodges as they make their way along Clifton Street, Donegall Street and Royal Avenue to Belfast City Hall.
A wreath-laying ceremony takes place at the City Hall cenotaph and the parade will then proceed via Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftsbury Square, Bradbury Place, Lisburn Road, Balmoral Avenue and Malone Road to Barnett’s Demense in south Belfast.
Orangemen and women representing nine districts – accompanied by approximately 60 bands, 20 from Scotland – will walk the six-mile route, traditionally the longest of all the Twelfth demonstrations.
As usual, tens of thousands of spectators, including many overseas visitors, will line much of the route to watch the 8,000-strong parade. Most notable will be the large Scottish contingent, who always travel to Belfast to both participate and spectate.
Taking part as guest speaker will be the Grand Master of Scotland Jim McHarg. The platform proceedings at Barnett’s Demesne will be chaired by the County Grand Master, Spencer Beattie. The return parade leaves the field, proceeding towards the city centre at 4.15pm.
The Co Fermanagh demonstration takes place in Brookeborough village. The ‘Lakeland’ parade traditionally encompasses the entire county and Fermanagh brethren will again play host to visiting lodges from Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan counties.
The 90 Fermanagh private lodges will be joined by members of the Association of Orangewomen, juniors, and 70 bands in one of the larger demonstrations in the Province.
Lodges and bands move off from the assembly field at Lisnaskea Road at 11.30am and proceed through the village to the demonstration field off the A4 Belfast Road. Platform proceedings and a religious service will be chaired by Co Fermanagh Grand Master Stuart Brooker. Guest speaker is the Rev Dr Alan McCann, County Armagh chaplain.
The return parade starts at 2.45pm. A collection will be taken up for the South East Fermanagh Foundation, the designated charity this year of County Fermanagh Grand Lodge. The Brookeborough demonstration comes after the recent opening of a special exhibition at Enniskillen Castle museum, highlighting the county’s Orange heritage. The exhibition runs until September 2.
The largest Twelfth parade in Tyrone will take place in one of the county’s smallest villages. Orangemen and women from seven districts will step out, representing the host district as well as Killyman, Cookstown, Castlecaulfield, Pomeroy, Coagh and Benburb. Seventy lodges and 50 bands will participate.
Stewartstown District lodge will have on display a special bannerette, recently dedicated to commemorate Orangemen from the locality who served in the First World War. The main parade commences at 12.15pm from Coagh Road and will proceed to the demonstration field at Coalisland Road.
The religious service will be conducted by district chaplain, the Rev Robert Boyd. Resolutions will be proposed by Deputy County Grand Master Robert Abernethy. Stewartstown District cultural committee has organised a cultural display at the field.
Grand Master Edward Stevenson, who lives close to Castlederg, is the main speaker at the West Tyrone demonstration. Six districts – Sixmilecross, Strabane, Fintona, Omagh, Killen and Newtownstewart – will be on parade with 56 lodges and 50 bands assembling at Mitchell Park for the parade to Castlegore Road. West Tyrone has a strong piping tradition and pipe bands will provide most of the music, joined by the local flute and accordion bands.
Castlederg lodge Kilclean LOL 773 will also have a new banner on display. The religious service will be conducted by local minister, Rev David Reid, a grand chaplain. Others taking part will be past Co Tyrone grand master, Jim Emery and Rev Jason Lingiah, Scottish grand chaplain.
The most intimate Twelfth parade in Co Tyrone is in Ballygawley, for Clogher Orangemen. Celebrations will again have a cross-border element, as is tradition, with Monaghan brethren walking with local lodges.
Among the 20 lodges and a dozen bands representing three districts – Annahoe, Fivemiletown and Truagh (Co Monaghan) – will be Orangewomen and junior lodges. The parade starts close to Ballygawley Presbyterian Church at 12.15pm, proceeding through the village to the new demonstration field at Old Dungannon Road.
Guest speaker at the religious service will be the Rev Trevor Boyd, Pomeroy District chaplain. Another speaker is Co Tyrone Grand Master Perry Reid.
The Maiden City will host a Twelfth parade for the first time in five years as North West members step out. Sixty lodges, from the districts of City of Londonderry, Raphoe (Co Donegal), Coleraine, Limavady, Macosquin and Claudy, will participate, led by 40 bands. The Women’s Association and junior lodges will also take part.
The main parade starts at Glendermott Road at 11.30am, proceeding across Craigavon Bridge to the city centre and back to the Waterside, and to the demonstration field at Wilton Park. Platform proceedings will be chaired by the City Grand Master, Maurice Devenney, and Co Londonderry Grand Master, Samuel Calvin, will also be in attendance. The religious service will be conducted by Rev John Noble, a grand chaplain, and the Rev Mervyn Lindsay will give the address. The return parade starts at 4.15pm.
The south Londonderry demonstration will have eight districts participating – Garvagh, Castledawson, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Ballyronan, Tamlaght O’Crilly, Moneymore and Tobermore. Sixty bands will lead the 2,000 Orangemen, moving off at noon. They will parade through the village to the demonstration field at Coleraine Road.
The day will have a special significance for one local Orangeman and flautist, David McAleese, who will be playing with Caheney flute band for the 75th consecutive year – having never missed a Twelfth. The religious service will be led by the Rev Joseph Andrews, county chaplain. Derek Reaney, an assistant grand master of Ireland, will be the guest speaker.
Orangemen from Australia will be among those taking part in the North Down celebrations. Brethren from Charlie Sands Memorial LOL 500, based in South Australia, will join the 40 North Down lodges and 30 bands from four districts – Newtownards, Upper Ards, Hollywood and Bangor. Orangewomen and juniors will also take part.
This year’s parade will be led by Loughries True Blues LOL 1948, together with William Strain William Lightbody Memorial flute band, which celebrates its 20th year. The lodge carries a bannerette in memory of former members who died in the First World War. The parade starts at 11.30am, passing through the town centre to Londonderry Park. The main address will be given by the Rev Ron Johnstone, a grand chaplain.
The coastal resort plays host to a special Twelfth parade this year. In a break from tradition, Orangemen and bands from Mourne District LOL No 8 will join with brethren from Castlewellan (the hosts), Ballynahinch, Lecale, Saintfield and Comber. More than 4,000 Orangemen, headed by 70 bands, will parade.
The order’s largest lodge Ballyvea LOL 343a, with 160 members, will be among the 15 Mourne District lodges (membership of 1,000). Normally, Mourne lodges parade in either Kilkeel or Annalong. The main parade commences at noon from Donard Park, proceeding the two-mile route along the main street before returning to Donard Park for the religious service.
Main speaker will be the Order’s Grand Secretary the Rev Mervyn Gibson, with various district chaplains leading the field service. A special guest is leading UK British mezzo-soprano, Emma Brown, who will sing during the platform proceedings.
The village hosts its first Twelfth in 32 years, with 100 lodges and 70 bands from across South Down taking part.
Orangemen and women of host district Lower Iveagh West, will be joined by Banbridge, Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Rathfriland, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry districts. The parade marks the culmination of the ‘Cloney Festival’ in Donacloney, incorporating a series of events and activities over five days in the lead-up to the Twelfth.
The main parade sets off from Moygannon Road at noon, proceeding through the village to the demonstration field at Drumlin Road.
Among the lodges stepping out will be No Surrender LOL 20, from Banbridge, which recently completed a 130km charity walk on the Western Front, symbolically travelling from Thiepval Memorial in France to the Menin Gate, Belgium. Main speaker at the field will be Harold Henning, deputy grand master of Ireland.
The mid-Antrim town will host the East Antrim Combine Twelfth this year for the first time in a decade. Nine district lodges, encompassing 70 private lodges will participate, headed by more than 40 bands. Districts represented will be hosts Sixmilewater, joined by Larne, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Killead, Antrim, Carrickfergus, Cloughfern and Carnmoney. The main parade starts at 11am from Sixmilewater Leisure Centre, passing through the town to Sixmilewater Park.
To mark the Armistice centenary, wreath-laying will take place at the town’s war memorial. Two vintage war vehicles will head the procession. Orangemen are also being encouraged to wear poppies. The religious service will have as main speaker Robert Campbell, a deputy grand chaplain.
The 30 Ballymena lodges and 15 bands will hold their traditional demonstration, with the host lodge this year 36th Ulster Division Memorial LOL 143. The lodges, accompanied by a dozen Lambeg drums, assemble at 12.30pm – proceeding through the city centre to Wakehurst playing fields.
Taking part for the first time in 40 years will be Braidwater Purple Star LOL 512, a reorganised lodge, which now has 30 members. Guest speaker will be the past grand master of Australia Herbert Mailey. Other senior Orangemen present will include Co Antrim Grand Master Robin Matthews, and past grand master of Ireland Robert Saulters.
Upwards of 2,000 Orangemen and women will parade in the South Antrim Combine demonstration, from seven districts – Lisburn (the largest), Glenavy, Magheragall, Hillsborough, Derriaghy, Ballinderry and Aghalee. Forty bands, with dozens of Lambeg drums, a big tradition in south Antrim, will lead the lodges.
The main parade assembles at Soldierstown Road, commencing at 11.30am, proceeding through the village to the demonstration field at Chapel Road. The religious service will be conducted by a local minister the Rev Paul McAdams and the Rev Nicholas Cooper.
Forty lodges from five districts – Rasharkin, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Ballymoney and Cloughmills – will parade at the main north Antrim parade. They will be headed by 26 bands and a dozen Lambeg drums. The parade of 2,000 brethren assembles at Finvoy Road and sets off at 1pm through the village via Main Street to the demonstration field at the Turnpike. There, a religious service will be conducted by the Rev Alistair Smyth, a grand chaplain. Roy Dawe, a former grand master of Canada, will also attend.
The 11 lodges of Braid district gather in the picturesque village, for the second year running. Three hundred Orangemen will take part.
The brethren will be led by nine bands and a number of Lambeg drums. Host lodge is Pollee LOL 841 and brethren from Scotland and Australia are expected. The main parade starts at noon, moving from Tullymore Road, through the village to the field at Buckna Road for the religious service. Guest speaker will be TUV leader Jim Allister MLA.
This is the only Twelfth demonstration which crosses a county border during the parade. Fifteen lodges from Portglenone, Cullybackey and Ahoghill will take part in the ‘Triangle’ parade, walking in both Co Antrim and Co Londonderry. As is tradition, there will be a significant number of Lambeg drums on display. The parade starts at 12.45pm from Chesney Crescent in Co Londonderry and proceeds through the village, over the Bann Bridge into Co Antrim, to the field at Clady Road. Ian Wilson, a former grand master of Scotland, is the main speaker.
The Independent Orange Order, with lodges mostly located in north Antrim, holds its demonstration in the coastal resort.
Twenty lodges will be headed by a dozen bands and a number of Lambeg drums, with Portrush’s Main Street being the main focus of the parade.
The Independents have four districts – Portglenone, Ballymoney, Rasharkin and Ballycastle, which this year hosts the demonstration.
The Grand Master James Anderson will preside at the platform proceedings with DUP MLA and former Assembly minister Mervyn Storey, who is imperial grand master in the order, the main speaker. The Independent Order, founded in 1903, has a Protestant fundamentalist religious ethos, with lodges in Scotland, England and Australia.
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