The Royal Landing Festival: key times and bands for annual Carrickfergus pageant

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Around 15,000 participants and supporters are expected in Carrickfergus on Saturday, June 8, as The Royal Landing Festival shapes up to be one of the biggest in decades.

The long-running Orange pageant, organised by Carrickfergus Historical Re-enactment Group, marks the arrival of King William on his way to the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

A series of historical talks and exhibitions covering topics such as the landing and the Williamite Wars will take place in the run-up to the main event when around 40 bands and lodges are expected to take to the streets of the east Antrim town.

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The main parade will leave Woodburn Playing Fields at 11.30am and make its way through the town to the Harbour Car Park for the re-enactment landing of King William III at Carrickfergus Castle, which will take place at 1.00pm.

The annual re-enactment of the landing of King William III in 1690 will be staged on Saturday, June 8. Photo: Photo: Stephen Hamilton/PresseyeThe annual re-enactment of the landing of King William III in 1690 will be staged on Saturday, June 8. Photo: Photo: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye
The annual re-enactment of the landing of King William III in 1690 will be staged on Saturday, June 8. Photo: Photo: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Speaking ahead of the festival, East Antrim DUP MLA Cheryl Brownle, who is secretary of Carrickfergus Historical Re-enactment Group, said: “We are really excited for this year’s event, which we are expecting to be the biggest and best yet.

"Our charity partner for this year is Autism NI who will have volunteers about the town on the day collecting for such a worthy and much-needed service in Northern Ireland.

“The Royal Landing is an incredible day where history and heritage come alive in the historic walled town of Carrickfergus.”

The key timings are as follows:

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The Royal Landing Festival features music and pageantry. Photo by  PacemakerThe Royal Landing Festival features music and pageantry. Photo by  Pacemaker
The Royal Landing Festival features music and pageantry. Photo by Pacemaker
  • 11:30 – main parade leaves Woodburn Playing Fields;
  • 13:00 – landing of King William III at Carrickfergus Castle;
  • 14:00 – parade reaches Marine Gardens;
  • 16:00 – return parade.

Cheryl added: “If you are planning to attend on 8th June, please allow extra time for your journey as the town will be extremely busy, and we would ask everyone to park considerately. Carrickfergus has a host of excellent independent businesses and we would encourage everyone to support our town centre cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.

“A huge thank you must go to all of our funders who make this event possible – Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ulster Scots Agency and Clanmill Housing Association.

“Be sure to keep an eye out around the town centre as there will be plenty of entertainment, with something for everyone including musical performances, dancing and exhibitions, as well as children’s entertainment and a food village located in the Castle Car Park.

A full programme of events is planned for the annual pageant. Image: submittedA full programme of events is planned for the annual pageant. Image: submitted
A full programme of events is planned for the annual pageant. Image: submitted
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“Expect plenty of colour, pageantry, music and family fun at what is fast becoming one of the most popular events in the country!”

The following bands have been listed by the Parades Commission as participants:

  • Ulster Grenadiers Flute Band, Carrickfergus Defenders, Pride of Ardoyne, Whiterock Flute Band,Shankill Road Defenders, Rathcoole Sons of Kai, The Castle Guards Flute Band, South Belfast Young Conquerors, Shankill Protestant Boys, Pride of the Raven, Ballymacash Protestant Boys Flute Band, Monkstown YCV Old Boys Flute Band, East Belfast Protestant Boys FB, The Billy Boys Flute Band, Shomberg Fife and Drum, Sir Henry Inglesbys Fife & Drum Corps, Cloughfern Young Conquerors Old Boys, Cloughfern Young Conquerors.
  • Also listed are: The Loyal Flute Band, Clougher Valley Grenadiers, Moneydig Young Conquerors, Clydevalley Flute Band, Freeman Memorial Flute Band, Fairhill Flute Band, Constable Anderson Memorial Flute Band, Pride of the Shore Flute Band, Bangor Protestant Boys, Ballyclare Protestant Boys, Brackey Flute Band, Blues & Royals Sydham, Finaghy True Blues, Ballymacarrett Flute Band, Somme Memorial Flute Band, Burnside Sons of Ulster Flute Band, Pride of the Island Flute Band, Rising Sons Donaghadee, Pride of the Valley Teenies Flute Band, Shankill Old Boys FB, Royal Hillsborough Protestant Boys Flute Band, Silver Plains Flute Band, William Sterritt Memorial Flute Band.