Five bands due at parade this Friday marking early lighting of ‘Eleventh Night’ bonfire in Portadown

Five bands and some 500 supporters are expected on the streets of Portadown this Friday, ahead of the early lighting of an ‘Eleventh Night’ bonfire.

Skeogh Flute Band, Hillhaven Flute Band, Derrylee Flute Band, Cormeen Rising Sons of William, and Blackskull Orange and Blue have all now agreed to participate in the parade.

The above details have all been notified in the 11/1 lodged with the Parades Commission, with the time given as being between 10am and 11pm – though online flyers indicate that the parade is likely to begin sometime around 7pm.

It will travel a fairly short route, from Corcrain Avenue via Drumilly Green, Westland Road, Heartfield Avenue and Westland Road again.

The Corcrain bonfire

A family fun day is set for between 1pm and 4pm, and entertainment will include music from DJ Bonka later.

Many of the online notices for the event offer tributes to James Albert Purdy, a former corporal in the Royal Irish Rangers, Orangeman and member of the Royal Black, who died in January.

When it comes to the early lighting of the pyre, the organisers said this last month: “Having spent some time engaging and listening to our local community and further afield, we have revised the date and time for the lighting of Corcrain bonfire.

“We as a committee have taken a great deal of grief and flack off many many people across this town and Northern Ireland due to the burning on a Sunday. We now ask those same people who ridiculed us to come out and support the revised date.

“Protestants attacking Protestants will never be ok and in fact is what is wrong with our current political crisis. Our local community is absolutely paramount in our vision and decision to change the date.

“Our new date will be Friday 8th July, we look forward to welcoming large numbers of spectators to the fire this year again. Bring on the biggest show in the country.”