|Orange Grand Master, Chief Executive, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment launch this years Flagship Twelfth demonstrations.|
Three venues will host flagship tourist Twelfth demonstrations later this year, the Orange Order has confirmed.
The parades in Limavady, Markethill and Larne will all provide an enhanced cultural experience as part of the biggest annual festival in Northern Ireland.
All three host districts will offer a varied programme of events surrounding their respective Twelfths, as well as the colour and pageantry associated with the largest day in the Orange calendar.
A total of 17 demonstrations are planned across the Province on July 12, all of which follow the traditional Rossnowlagh parade held in the Republic on the preceding weekend.
Orange Order Director of Services, Dr David Hume, said:
"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:
“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:
There is one less Twelfth parade this year (usually 18) because Limavady is hosting a combined county demonstration for Londonderry (City of Londonderry and County Londonderry Grand Lodges).
A Twelfth demonstration will be held in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, on Saturday, July 5.