Royal celebrations to roll on with pageant

Carrickfergus is preparing for a second successive weekend of royal celebrations with over 10,000 people expected to attend the annual King William pageant tomorrow (Saturday).

Following the four-day long festivities to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee, the town will host the first full-scale Royal Landing since the easing of pandemic restrictions.

And the organisers of the re-enactment of the historic arrival of King William III at Carrickfergus Castle in 1690 are promising a special event for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Royal Landing Organising Committee stated: “We will have 22 of Ulster’s finest marching bands along with various local (Orange) lodges as well as from Scotland and England.

Carrick Town Crier Godfrey Robinson reading the official proclamation of the Platinum Jubilee events.

“The pageantry part of the parade will be bigger this year as well with soldiers on horseback and on foot.

“We have loads of entertainment on before and during the break of the parade with a main stage located on the Castle Green and a second entertainment area at Market Place in the town centre.

“This year the kids’ entertainment will be located in the Marine Gardens instead of the Castle Green.”

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events and the organisers said excitement levels are building for the Royal Landing’s long-awaited return.

The main parade leaves Woodburn Playing Fields at noon to walk to the harbour for the 1pm landing re-enactment.

The pageant participants will then walk through the town centre to Marine Gardens. The return parade will begin at 4pm from Marine Gardens.

“We advise those travelling to Carrick to be in early especially for parking,” the committee added.

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