NI Centennial parade a ‘once in a lifetime spectacle’: tourist body

As preparations continue for one of the largest public events ever staged in Northern Ireland, the main tourist body in Belfast is promoting the Northern Ireland Centennial parade as a “once in a lifetime spectacle”.

By Mark Rainey
Friday, 20th May 2022, 6:07 pm
The 100th year anniversary march in September 2012 to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant enters Stormont. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
The 100th year anniversary march in September 2012 to commemorate the signing of the Ulster Covenant enters Stormont. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.

Around 25,000 participants from the various loyal orders will walk from Stormont to Belfast City Hall, watched by an estimated 60,000 spectators, next Saturday (May 28).

More than 130 bands have confirmed their attendance at the event which was due to take place last year but postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

Due to the scale of the parade the Orange Order’s Grand Secretary, Rev Mervyn Gibson, has urged spectators to arrive early to secure a prime viewing location along the route – which includes the Newtownards Road, Ann St, Victoria St, High St, Castle Place and Donegall Place.

The parade will move off at 1pm following platform speeches and an act of Remembrance at 12 noon.

A spokesperson for Visit Belfast said: “The Centennial event provides a once in a lifetime spectacle for the many visitors expected to be in Belfast next Saturday, as well as for those coming to watch and participate in the parade.

“With events of this magnitude, we are promoting and providing up-to-date information on www.visitbelfast.com and our main digital platforms and the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre will be open to deal with the wide range of visitor and transport enquiries.”