Massive Royal Irish veterans parade in Ballymena

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Ballee playing fields look set to be the venue for a Parade involving over 2,000 veterans from around the world as well as a Community Festival.

Details of the event, to be held on March 13 and 14 next year, have been revealed to a Ballymena Borough Council committee from whom approval ‘in principle’ was successfully sought last week by organisers, the Royal Irish Veterans’ Association, for free use of the playing fields from March 12-16.

The committee also agreed ‘in principle’ to provide a Council Officer as a point of contact between the Association and Council and to promote the event on their Tourism website.

Their agreement, however, is subject to funding being secured by the Association and to a full Event Management Plan being presented and approved by Council Officers.

The committee was told that the Parade and Festival could attract up to 20,000 participants and spectators.

The event will also celebrate the history of St Patrick’s Barracks and the 31st anniversary of the Royal Irish Rangers being granted the Freedom on the Ballymena Borough.

The Community Festival will include a free children’s funfair, military vehicle showcase, and live music, while the Parade will feature the Regimental Band, Pipes & Drums of the First & Second Battalion RIR and the NI Millitary Wives Choir.