Twelfth venues are confirmed

Twelfth of July parades will take place in Ballymena and the surrounding villages of Broughshane, Cullybackey, Ahoghill and Portglenone although they will be ‘small and local’, The Orange Institution has confirmed.

For 2021, the normal 18 main demonstrations have been replaced by more than 100 local parades as the Orange Family continues to play a positive role in the fight against Covid-19.

With the current health guidelines limiting events to 500 participants, organising smaller parades was the best way to ensure the demonstrations went ahead, the Orange Institution stated. Confirming this year’s plans, Grand Master Most Wor. Bro. Edward Stevenson said: “We have endured a difficult 18 months, having cancelled our meetings and parades, for the good of all in the community.

“Last year it was the ‘Twelfth at Home’ but thankfully this year, with the restrictions suitably eased, we are in a position to have District parades right across Northern Ireland.

Grand Master Edward Stevenson and Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning are encouraging everyone to enjoy a Twelfth near home this as local parades will be held at around 100 locations. Picture: Graham Baalham-Curry

“These smaller demonstrations will help reduce crowds, remove the need for travelling long distances to see a parade and ensure that we as an Institution continue to put the safety of everyone to the fore.

“This is for one year only and we are focussed on having our traditional Twelfth of July celebrations in 2022.”

The local parade venues are: Ahoghill at 11.30am - Ahoghill District LOL No. 12 featuring seven lodges and two bands; Ballymena at 12noon - Ballymena District LOL No 8 featuring 27 lodges and 16 bands; Broughshane at 12noon - Braid District LOL No 18, 11 lodges and 11 bands; Cullybackey at 12.30pm - Cullybackey District LOL No. 20, four lodges and 10 bands; Portglenone at 11.15am - Portglenone District LOL No 7, five lodges and three bands.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland is calling on everyone planning to attend a parade to respect the Covid-19 guidelines.

Spectators are advised to choose one parade to attend, avoid standing in crowds or walking alongside the parade, and be sure to wear face coverings when appropriate.