Royal Black Institution gears up for biggest day
Upwards of 17,000 members of the Royal Black Institution will be on parade at six locations across Northern Ireland for the traditional Last Saturday demonstrations.
Approximately 350 preceptories, most accompanied by bands, will take part in separate processions in Ballygowan, Ballymoney, Dungannon, Holywood, Garvagh and Seskinore on August 31.
Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson, who will attend the Ballymoney parade, said the Institution was looking forward to a day of "spectacle and pageantry".
He added: "Our traditional Last Saturday demonstrations are rightly regarded as a flagship day in the annual parading season.
"We are expecting thousands of spectators to line the parade routes at the six different venues across Northern Ireland.
"Beautiful banners depicting Biblical scenes, talented musicians in the various bands and of course our Sir Knights, bedecked in their Royal Black regalia - it all makes for a glorious display of culture on the streets of our beloved province.
"I was mightily impressed by the huge crowds at this year's Sham Fight in Scarva, and the number of spectators at the recent Co Fermanagh demonstration in Brookeborough was also a great source of encouragement to me as Sovereign Grand Master. It's clear from the wonderful level of support we receive at our parades that the Royal Black Institution plays an important and cherished role in the lives of a great many people in Northern Ireland.
"I pray that each of our Last Saturday parades will be enjoyable and memorable occasions for all involved as we witness for the Reformed Christian Faith.
"I wish all Sir Knights and our supporters a peaceful day as we come together in fellowship."