Royal Black Institution: 17,000 to step out for Last Saturday parades across Northern Ireland
More than 17,000 members of the Royal Black Institution will parade at five locations across Northern Ireland today for its traditional Last Saturday demonstrations.
Around 360 preceptories, most accompanied by bands, will take part in processions in Kilkeel, Banbridge, Newtownstewart, Portstewart and Lisburn.
The biggest event will be the Mourne demonstration in Kilkeel, where 107 preceptories will be on parade in the harbour town.
The main parade will get under way at Newcastle Road close to its junction with Leestone Road at 11.30am and the members of the institution will make their way via Newcastle Road, Newcastle Street, Bridge Street, Greencastle Street, Knockchree Avenue and Greencastle Street to the demonstration area on Manse Road.
The return parade will begin at 4pm taking the following route -Manse Road, Mourne Esplanade, Knockchree Avenue, Greencastle Street, Bridge Street, Newcastle Street to Newcastle Road and Mountain Road, where people will board their buses for home. The highlights of the proceedings on the platform will include performances by members of Kirknarra School of Dance and the Café One80 Band prior to the service of worship, which will be conducted by the district chaplain, the Rev Kenneth Hanna.
Meanwhile, the City of Belfast Grand Black Chapter will step out in Banbridge, where 59 preceptories and 33 bands will take part in the parade.
The procession will begin at noon and form up at Church Street/Lurgan Road before going via Church Square, Bridge Street, Newry Street, the War Memorial, Newry Street, Bridge Street, Church Square and back to the Lurgan Road.
In Newtownstewart, 84 preceptories will take part in the demonstration.
It will begin at noon on the Baronscourt Road and follow a route along Strabane Road, Mourne Park, Old Castle Road, Dublin Street, Main Street, Castle Brae, Douglas Road and Castle Brae again.
In Portstewart, 32 preceptories will take part in the demonstration from noon on the Strand Road, which goes via Coleraine Road, the Promenade, Portmore Road, Station Road, Mill Road and Old Coach Road to the demonstration field at the Warren Recreation Grounds.
And the County Antrim demonstration will be held in Lisburn where 79 preceptories will take part, accompanied by 75 bands.
The parade will begin at 12.30pm and go via Laurelhill Road, Prince William Road, Thiepval Road, Chapel Hill, Bow Street, Castle Street, Seymour Street to Wallace Park.