Six major Royal Black Institution parades today will signal the climax of the Northern Ireland marching season, writes Billy Kennedy.
Upwards of 40,000 Institution members and band members at the ‘Last Saturday’ events will attract tens of thousands of spectators for what traditionally are colourful marching and musical spectacles.
The 400 Black preceptories will be headed by 365 bands, among the best in the flute, pipe, accordion and silver sector.
The biggest demonstration will be in Banbridge, where 112 preceptories and 110 bands from 13 Co Down districts taking part.
In Ballymoney, 80 preceptories and 79 bands will form the Co Antrim demonstration, while 60 Belfast preceptories and 33 bands, a number of them from Scotland, will be in Newtownards,
In Dungannon, 60 preceptories and 60 bands from South Tyrone and west Armagh will be the attraction, while the border town of Castlederg will host the west Tyrone parade of 28 preceptories and bands.
Ballyronan, on the shores of Lough Neagh, is the venue for the Co Londonderry and Co Donegal parade – 35 preceptories and bands from Raphoe, Coleraine, South Londonderry and Londonderry city districts.
The PSNI has warned of traffic congestion over the day in those locations where the main parades will take place.