On the march in Ballymena and district

Galgorm LOL 239 on parade at the Ballymena Twelfth in 2016. INBT29-231AM
Galgorm LOL 239 on parade at the Ballymena Twelfth in 2016. INBT29-231AM

The Mid Antrim district is gearing up to host three Twelfth demonstrations this year, with parades being hosted in Ballymena, Broughshane and Cullybackey.

The Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Jim McHarg, will join the 30 lodges from the district as they take part in the annual Twelfth in Ballymena.

The town is the only one in Northern Ireland which has a Twelfth demonstration every year.

The lodges and around 15 bands will assemble on the Wakehurst Road at 12.30pm and proceed to the demonstration field at the People’s Park via Larne Road, Larne Street, Harryville Bridge, Waveney Road, Galgorm Road, Pentagon, Lower Mill Street, Wellington Street, Ballymoney Street, William Street, Broughshane Street, Parkway and Ballymoney Road.

This year the honour of hosting the parade belongs to the members of Ferniskey LOL 115.

Among the platform party at the field will be the Past Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Robert Saulters, along with district officers and officers from the host lodge.

The religious service will be conducted by Rev Ian McClean, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

The village of Cullybackey will resonate to the distinctive and unique sound of the Lambeg drum for this year’s Triangle combine parade, and is expected to play host to the largest contingent of the acoustic instrument on parade throughout the Province, with impromptu drumming sessions adding to the carnival atmosphere.

A total of 16 lodges – accompanied by eight bands – will take part in the close-knit demonstration, which is held on other years in Ahoghill and Portglenone.

Visitors from Scotland are also expected to participate.

The main parade is due to commence from Ardnamaine Housing Estate at 12.30pm and proceed via Station Road, Main Street, Shellinghill Road and Kilmakevitt Square to the Community Centre playing fields.

The main address will be delivered by Orangewoman Janet Simpson.

Meanwhile, 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 will be accompanied by nine bands and a number of Lambeg drums.

Host lodge, Teenies LOL 635, have the honour of leading the procession this year.

The main parade is scheduled to start at 12 noon and those participating will parade from the assembly point on the Tullymore Road, proceeding through the village to Beechvale, before congregating at a field on Rathkeel Road for the religious service.

The guest speaker will be Nelson McCausland.