Crossgar Heads Up Mid-Down.
Crossgar will host the annual mid-Down demonstration for the first time since 2003.
The hosts, Lecale District, will be joined by the brethren and bands from neighbouring Saintfield, Comber, Ballynahinch and Castlewellan Districts.
Crossgar’s own Cumberland True Blue LOL 358 will lead the prossession accompanied by Crossgar Young Defenders Flute Band from the assembly field on the Downpatrick Road on the 1.5mile route through the town to the demonstration field on the Killyleagh Road.
2019 marks an important year for the history of local Orange-ism with the members of Cumberland True Blue LOL 358 marking their 175th Anniversary as well as the 150th anniversary of the building of the town’s Orange Hall.
Among the other 60 Lodges and 38 Bands taking part will be Inch LOL 430 whose banner was recently named ‘banner of the year’ at the annual Orange Awards. Local band members from Hollymount Pipe Band are celebrating their centenary of their formation in 1919 and Spa Accordion Band from Ballynahinch will be resplendent in new uniforms. Two lodges on parade – Ballygowan LOL 1207 and Comber Old Standard LOL 567 are both celebrating their 200th Anniversary. The principal speaker at the platform proceedings will be Rev Dr Stanley Gamble, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. Brethren and bands will leave at 4.00pm to make their way to their respective towns and villages.
Holywood To Host North Down.
Holywood is set to resound to the bands and districts in North Down.
The North Down Orange Districts will this year be on parade in Holwood. The honour of leading the parade, which starts in 12 noon, has been granted to Ballyrobert LOL 1920. They will be followed by the other local Lodges – Ballykeel LOL 417, Crozier Memorial LOL 1362, Dundonald Purple Vine LOL 1056, Dundonald True Blues LOL 1111 and Holywood LOL 1687. Visiting Districts include Newtownards, Upper Ards and Bangor.
Guest speaker at the demonstration field will be Victor Harrison, Past County Grand Master. A religious service will be led by Rev. David McIlveen before the parade leaves at 4.00pm to complete the return route.
Rathfriland To Host South West Districts.
The South West Down Twelfth celebrations for 2019 will be held in Rathfriland. The district hosts the celebrations every 8 years and is the largest parade in County Down with 95 Lodges and 60 bands taking part in the procession watched by thousands of spectators. Orangemen and women from neighbouring districts from Lower Iveagh West, Banbridge, Bann Valley, Lower Iveagh, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry will be on parade.
The parade will leave the assembly field on Newry Road at 12 noon and proceed through the town, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph before making its way to the demonstration field on the Castlewellan Road where participants will have a panoramic view of the Mourne Mountains.
Pre-12th celebrations took place with the opening of a new arch on Wednesday 3 July at 7.30pm. A real family night out will be the Tattoo which will be held in the square of the town on Tuesday 9 July. This will be a memorable event with local bands and musicians taking part. On Wednesday night 10th July, an “It’s a Knockout” family fun night will take place in the town square also from 7.30pm.
Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning, County Grand Master Sam Walker, and Deputy Junior Grand Master Joseph Magill will be in attendance. County Grand Chaplain Rev. Victor Neil will lead the religious service and Rathfriland District Chaplain Harry Baxter will deliver the address. The parade will leave the field at 4.00pm headed by Newry District who will play host to the 2020 celebrations.
Kilkeel’s Big Lodge Steps Out On Twelfth
The largest individual Lodge stepping out for the Twelfth will be on parade in the harbour town of Kilkeel. Ballyvea LOL 343a – which boasts 150 members – will take part in the annual Mourne District demonstration in south Down.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Mourne Mountains and Irish Sea, the picturesque parade will be very much family orientated with 14 of the 15 Lodges accompanied by their own band.
Upwards of 1,500 people are anticipated to take part in the seaside procession, with many more watching proceedings. Visitors and holidaymakers are expected to swell as the crowds enjoy the carnival atmosphere, with many travelling from local caravan parks.
Kilkeel Lodges will leave Kilkeel Orange Hall at 10.45am and walk to the Council Road on the outskirts of the town. There, they will meet their fellow Brethren and accompanying bands from Annalong and Ballymartin, before the entire District parades through the town, via Newcastle Road, Newcastle Street and Greencastle Road, to the demonstration field at Manse Road. Following refreshments, the platform proceedings are due to commence at 2.15pm. The guest speaker will be Bro. Colin Girvan, Senior Depute Grand Master of Scotland and the drumhead religious service will be led by Bro. Colin Morris. The return parade is scheduled to get underway at 4pm.
On the 11th July, the Schomberg Society will once again host their popular Eleventh night pageant parade and concert which is sure to attract large numbers of visitors to the town.