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Twelfth 2021: Band parades, times, transport… all you need to know about celebrations


Parades have been scaled back for 2021.

Parades have been scaled back for 2021.



The Ballycraigy bonfire in Antrim, ahead of the 11th night. Credit: Pacemaker

The Ballycraigy bonfire in Antrim, ahead of the 11th night. Credit: Pacemaker


Parades have been scaled back for 2021.

If it’s noise, colour and pageantry you are after, Belfast is the place to be this Twelfth.

There are six parades planned to "ensure the tens of thousands who attend the Belfast Twelfth are dispersed across the city, reducing the potential for crowds gathering, thereby minimising the risk of Covid community transmission", according to the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast.

Parades will be staged at Carlisle Circus — Barnett’s Demesne (starting at 10am), North Belfast (11am), Ballynafeigh (11am), South Belfast (11.30am), Shankill (11.30am) and East Belfast (11.50am). Details of the routes can be found online.

The Orange Order has asked spectators to select one parade to attend.

It has also requested that people spread out along the route to ensure social distancing; that no one walks alongside or follows the parade; and that masks are worn as appropriate.

A total of 22 parades will be held in Co Antrim, including: Ahoghill (11.30am), Antrim (11.30am), Armoy (11.30am), Ballyclare (11.30am), Ballymena (noon), Ballymoney (11.30am), Broomhedge (11.30am), Broughshane (noon), Bushmills (11am), Carrickfergus (11am), Cloughfern (noon), Cloughmills (11.30am), Cullybackey (12.30pm), Derriaghy (11.30am), Glenavy (11.30am), Glengormley (11.30am), Larne (11.30am), Lisburn (11.30am), Maghaberry (11.30am), Portglenone (11.15am), Randalston (10.20am) and Rasharkin (11.30).

A further nine will take place in Co Armagh in: Armagh (11.30am), Killylea (11.30M), Loughgall (11.30am, Lurgan (11.30am), Markethill (11.30am), Newtownhamilton (noon), Portadown (11.30am), Richhill (11.30am) and Tandragee (noon).

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The Orange Order said the “normal 18 main demonstrations have been replaced by more than 100 local parades as the Orange Family continues to play a positive role in the fight against Covid-19”.

It added that as the current health guidelines limit events to 500 participants, “organising smaller parades was the best way to ensure the demonstrations went ahead”.

Grand Master Edward Stevenson said he was certain all members would be delighted to be parading in Northern Ireland’s Centenary year.

“We have endured a difficult 18 months, having cancelled our meetings and parades, for the good of all in the community,” he said.

“Last year it was the ‘Twelfth at Home’ but thankfully this year, with the restrictions suitably eased, we are in a position to have District parades right across Northern Ireland.

“These smaller demonstrations will help reduce crowds, remove the need for travelling long distances to see a parade and ensure that we as an Institution continue to put the safety of everyone to the fore.”

Mr Stevenson added: “This is for one year only and we are focused on having our traditional Twelfth of July celebrations in 2022.”

Meanwhile, Translink has announced a number of timetable changes around the Twelfth public holiday.

Metro/Glider and Ulsterbus/Goldliner will operate holiday timetables on Monday 12 and Tuesday July 13.

NI Railways will operate a Saturday schedule from Monday 12 to Saturday July 17 inclusive.

Maintenance will also be carried out by Irish Rail on the train line between Dublin and Drogheda on Sunday, July 11.

Enterprise trains will operate from Belfast to Drogheda, with bus substitutions between Drogheda and Dublin in both directions.

Passengers are advised to check their journeys in advance using Translink’s Journey Planner or website https://www.translink.co.uk/timetables

Passengers are advised to allow extra time for journeys.

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