Orange Order To Host 'Flagship' Twelfth Events

Three venues are to host "flagship tourist Twelfth demonstrations" during this year's 12 July parades, according to the Orange Order.

The parades are to take place in Limavady, County L'Derry, Markethill, County Armagh and Larne, County Antrim.

"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 statement from the Order said.

A total of 17 demonstrations are planned across Northern Ireland 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.

"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."

DUP MLA and Tourism 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."


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