Three towns will host the flagship Twelfth demonstrations this year, the Orange Order has announced.
Limavady, Markethill and Larne will play host on the Saturday, a week after the traditional Rossnowlagh parade on July 5.
There will be 17 demonstrations in total in towns such as Irvinestown, Newtownards, Gilford and Clough. (For the full list of locations see below)
Orange Order Director of Services, Dr David Hume, said the involvement of local schools this year will help enhance the event and assist those pupils with their CVs.
“The Tourist Twelfth Flagship programme has been developing since 2006 and we have seen excellent parades and festivals over the years. This year, we are enhancing our product through training in the World Host programmes for the Institution’s flagships.
“This will include participation from a local school in one of the areas, which will enable students to gain accredited certification in the World Host programme to add to their CVs and hopefully assist them in the employment market.
“World Host is the only accredited hospitality programme in Northern Ireland and each flagship is providing a number of participants in it.
“In addition, we also want to work closely with the flagships to ensure that the best possible product is offered for visitors and tourists. The three areas selected this year reflect geographical and historical diversity and their parades will all be excellent as will other festival plans. We look forward to working with them and wish them well in all their efforts.”
Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, said this year’s flagship events provide a great offering for tourists and visitors to Northern Ireland.
“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s announcement today that it has chosen Limavady, Markethill and Larne to host its flagship Twelfth demonstrations is welcome news.
“The flagship concept is aimed at those parades that want to broaden their appeal to draw a tourism audience and I am sure that those involved in the three selected demonstrations will provide a diverse and vibrant programme of events that visitors can enjoy.
“The colour and pageantry of the Twelfth is enjoyed by tourists from far and near and I hope many of them will take the opportunity to visit Limavady, Markethill or Larne to enjoy the spectacle of these flagship events.
“I wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success with its preparations for the Twelfth.”
The 17 demonstrations on Saturday, July 12, will be held in: