Next month’s Twelfth celebrations in Co Fermanagh will be broadcast live on the BBC, it has been confirmed.
The sight, sound and colour of the Lisbellaw parade will be showcased to a wider audience, in a first for Orangeism in the lakeland county.
To facilitate the outside broadcast, Co Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge are embarking on a major logistical exercise by moving the start time of the traditional main parade forward by over 90 minutes to meet requirements.
The Lisbellaw procession will feature this year alongside the usual live BBC Northern Ireland coverage of the Twelfth parade in Belfast.
County Grand Master Stuart Brooker said the Institution in Fermanagh was “delighted” to receive such recognition.
“This is a tremendous coup not only for Fermanagh Orangeism, but also Lisbellaw and the west generally,” he said.
“We are very proud to host what is regarded as one of the most family-friendly Twelfth demonstrations and are overjoyed that the unique atmosphere of the Fermanagh parade will now be made available to a wider audience.
“I have no doubt viewers from across Northern Ireland and beyond will be impressed by the pageantry and colour of the procession, its ambience, as well as the outstanding calibre of music provided by our many marching bands.”
Mr Brooker said planning is at an advanced stage regarding arrangements for the earlier Twelfth demonstration. The main parade will commence at 10.45am, rather than the traditional 12.30pm.
He added: “Although it will be a step change for our membership, band members and spectators, we are more than confident we will deliver on the day.”
Lisbellaw District Master Jim Gamble said: “As the host district this year, we are thrilled the BBC will be broadcasting live from the village. The organising committee is looking forward to a truly memorable day.”
Around 90 lodges and 70 bands, including the border counties, will step out in Lisbellaw for one of the larger demonstrations across the Province.
A total of 17 other Twelfth parades will be held in Richhill; Belfast; Cookstown; Beragh; Clogher; Coleraine; Kilrea; Hillsborough; Bangor; Ballynahinch; Banbridge; Annalong; Cloughfern; Broughshane; Ballymena; Cullybackey and Cloughmills.
The demonstrations will follow the traditional Rossnowlagh parade held in the Republic on the preceding weekend. This year the annual Donegal procession takes place on Saturday July 8.
The Fermanagh Twelfth will be live on BBC One Northern Ireland from 11am on Wednesday July 12.