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Thousands set for Orange Order's Twelfth parades

By Chris Kilpatrick

Tens of thousands of Orangemen will parade tomorrow in demonstrations across Northern Ireland for the annual Twelfth commemorations.

Around 50,000 Orangemen and band members are expected to attend 17 Twelfth demonstrations organised by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

In Belfast, lodges from nine districts and some 90 bands will make their way from Clifton Street along the six-mile route to the field at Barnett Desmesne.

This year's three flagship events are to take place in Limavady, Markethill and Larne.

Orangemen from the border counties will gather in Irvinestown, while the north Down demonstration is in Newtownards.

Elsewhere in Co Down, there are parades in Gilford, Kilkeel and Clough.

Orange grand master Edwin Stevenson will be the guest speaker at Dungannon, while Omagh and Ballygawley also play host in Co Tyrone.

The Co Antrim venues are Broughshane, Ballymena, Ballinderry, Cullybackey and Ballymoney.

Orange Order director of services Dr David Hume said: "The Tourist Twelfth Flagship programme has been developing since 2006 and we have seen excellent parades and festivals over the years.

"This year we are enhancing our product through training in the World Host programmes for the institution's flagships. In addition, we also want to work closely with the flagships to ensure that the best possible product is offered for visitors and tourists.

"The three areas which have been selected this year reflect geographical and historical diversity and their parades will all be excellent, as will other festival plans.

"We look forward to working with them and wish them well in all their efforts."

Orangemen and women from Sandy Row will lead this year's Twelfth parade in Belfast. As is traditional, the parade will leave Belfast Orange hall at Carlisle Circus, at 10am.

The procession will make its way along Clifton Street, Donegall Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction and Donegall Place to Belfast City Hall.

A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall for those killed in both World Wars.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: "The flagship concept is aimed at those parades that want to broaden their appeal to draw a tourism audience and I am sure that those involved in the three selected demonstrations will provide a diverse and vibrant programme of events that visitors can enjoy.

"The colour and pageantry of the Twelfth is enjoyed by tourists from far and near and I hope many of them will take the opportunity to visit Limavady, Markethill or Larne to enjoy the spectacle of these flagship events."

Where the lodges will gather tomorrow

Limavady: Eleven districts from the county of Londonderry will step out alongside Orangemen, Orangewomen and Juniors representing the five city districts (three from City of Londonderry, Raphoe Co Donegal, and Claudy). The main parade is at 11.30am from Church Street.

Markethill: Eleven district lodges will be on parade, with a total of 154 private lodges and 80 bands of every type. The parade will start from Main Street at 9.30am.

Larne: Upwards of 20,000 people are expected to line the streets and watch the main procession, encompassing 70 private lodges and up to 50 bands. The main parade will start from Inver Road at 11am.

Belfast: As is traditional, the parade will leave Belfast Orange hall at Carlisle Circus at 10am. Marchers will make their way along Clifton Street, Donegall Street, Royal Avenue, Castle Junction and Donegall Place to Belfast City Hall for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph.

Irvinestown: Approximately 90 lodges, including members of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen and a new Junior lodge from Brookeborough, will be joined by around 70 bands. All lodges and bands will move off at 12.30pm from the assembly field on the Lisnarick Road.

Newtownards: The north Down Twelfth demonstration will this year be held in Newtownards. Approximately 50 lodges and as many bands will step out under the shadow of local landmark, Scrabo Tower. The parade starts from John Street at noon.

Gilford: Upwards of 20,000 people are expected to enjoy the colour and pageantry of the biggest Twelfth demonstration in Co Down. The parade is scheduled to begin on the Portadown/Lurgan Road at noon.

Clough: The Comber Orangemen will be among approximately 70 lodges and 40 bands parading through the small village, holding a Twelfth demonstration for the first time for many years. The main procession will leave the assembly field on the Belfast Road, Seaforde, at noon.

Kilkeel: The largest individual lodge stepping out for the Twelfth will be on parade in the harbour town of Kilkeel. Upwards of 1,500 people are anticipated to take part. Kilkeel lodges will leave Kilkeel Orange hall at 11am.

Dungannon: More than 40,000 people are expected to descend on Tyrone's second largest provincial town, hosting its first Twelfth celebrations since 2007. A total of 70 lodges and over 50 bands – silver, accordion, pipe and flute – will leave the Lord Northland Memorial Park, Moy Road, at 12.30pm.

Omagh: Joining members of Omagh District LOL No 11 will be representatives of up to 60 west Tyrone lodges from Sixmilecross, Fintona, Newtownstewart, Killen and Strabane. The main parade will assemble at Campsie Playing Fields, departing at noon.

Balygawley: Among the approximate 30 lodges representing three districts – Truagh, Fivemiletown and Annahoe – will be a number of Orangewomen as well as Junior members of the institution. Parade participants will assemble in Church Street, moving off at noon.

Broughshane: Broughshane will play host to this year's Braid Twelfth – traditionally one of the smallest demonstrations on the biggest day in the Orange calendar. A total of 11 lodges – representing upwards of 350 Orangemen – will be accompanied by nine bands. Scheduled to start at noon.

Ballymena: The town is the only one in Northern Ireland which holds a Twelfth demonstration every year, with 30 lodges and 15 bands ths year. They will assemble on Waveney Road at 12.30pm.

Cullybackey: Orangemen representing 16 lodges will take part in the traditional Triangle combine parade, hosted on an alternative basis between three venues – Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone. The main parade will commence at 12.30pm from Ard-Na-Maine.

Ballinderry: A total of seven districts – totalling approximately 70 individual lodges – will participate in the parade, led by Ballinderry and followed by Derriaghy, Lisburn, Hillsborough, Aghalee, Glenavy and Magheragall. The event is scheduled to get under way at 11.30am.

Ballymoney: They will join with over 40 lodges representing five districts – Ballymoney, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Rasharkin and Cloughmills – taking part in the annual demonstration, which was last held in the north Antrim town five years ago. The main parade will assemble at the town's Showgrounds and is due to set off at 1pm.

See Monday's Belfast Telegraph for full coverage

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