Tomorrow thousands of people will parade from Stormont Estate to Belfast City Hall as the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland celebrates Northern Ireland’s CentenNIal year.
This marvellous milestone for our country is a real cause for celebration and what better way to do it than with a spectacular parade in the capital city befitting such a special occasion?
We are expecting around 20,000 people to take part in what will be the biggest parade of the year and a great day out for all the family.
I am delighted that we will be joined by members of all loyal orders for the parade. Representatives of the Association of Loyal Orangewomen of Ireland, the Junior Grand Lodge, the Independent Orange Institution, The Apprentice Boys of Derry, the Royal Black Institution and the Royal Arch Purple Chapter. We will also be joined by many of our brethren and sisters from across the United Kingdom, with some visitors making the trip to Belfast from as far away as Canada.
Added to that will be the superb musical talents of our marching band community. More than 130 bands will be taking part.
This promises to be an event not to be missed and we are expecting thousands of spectators and supporters to line the streets to enjoy the day.
The Stormont Estate will be a hive of activity from 10am as the lodges and bands start to gather. With entertainment available before the parade in Stormont Estate and C S Lewis Square the atmosphere will be building from early on.
This event marks the culmination of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s Northern Ireland CentenNIal celebrations.
Over the past 12 months and more the Orange family has been proudly celebrating Northern Ireland and the role our institution has played in it.
It is now almost 18 months since the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland welcomed in Northern Ireland’s CentenNIal year with a musical fanfare.
Throughout 2021 we celebrated with exhibitions, displays, concerts, sporting events and a gala dinner. We are immensely proud of Northern Ireland – the place we call home – and of all those from our institution who have played such a prominent role in shaping and developing the country we know and love.
It is a place that has produced innovators and inventors, soldiers and scholars, world beaters and record breakers. There is no doubt that Northern Ireland – a place that is small geographically – has made a massive impact on the world stage.
We are encouraging as many people as possible to come and with join us on Saturday. Be part of history as we celebrate 100 years of Northern Ireland!