Upcoming Parade & Service
Sunday 29th May
Assemble North Belfast Memorial Orange Hall at 2.15 pm.
“This is the sixth anniversary of our Twelfth Tourist Flagship programme and we believe that it has been a huge success and has helped to develop the potential of the parades. We know that more than half a million people either take part in the parades or watch them – that is a huge proportion of the population. For very many people it is the biggest day of the year.
“There is strong evidence that an increasing number of tourists are planning trips to Northern Ireland at that time of year so they can see the parades. All of our parades are very important and we will be working with all the organisers to maximise the positive impact of the Twelfth parades. But Grand Lodge decided that we should put a special effort into the two flagship demonstrations in Randalstown and Comber.
“The Twelfths in Randalstown and Comber will be big occasions with huge crowds. The organisers are working on programmes of events leading up to the big day and there will be plenty for people to see and enjoy.
“The idea behind the Flagship Twelfths is to look at the demonstrations through the eyes of tourists. We are thrilled by the number of people who come out to enjoy the Twelfth but we are never really satisfied. We want even more people, and visitors, to enjoy the spectacle and understand its importance to this community.
“Cultural tourism is a growing industry and we are determined that the Orange Order will play its part in developing this sector of business. We have been working closely with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland to attract more visitors to the province in July and they have been extremely helpful.
“The Twelfth of July offers a unique opportunity for the Orange Institution and the bands community to showcase our culture and heritage and we are confident of welcoming increasing numbers of visitors, tourists and families, to the event in the years ahead. While every Twelfth celebration is in our opinion worth visiting, the flagship venues have an added element of specifically catering for tourists through the Welcome Host programme and additional attractions and we are delighted at the efforts made by those venues.”
“The Twelfth is a unique day. It has special significance in the history and culture of our country and is enjoyed by massive crowds. There is no other single event that can produce crowds like the Twelfth. Right across Northern Ireland, and in Co. Donegal the weekend before, tens of thousands of people will be attending Twelfth demonstrations. There are 18 different locations in Northern Ireland, all with distinct characteristics that make it such a special day of religion, culture, music and pageantry.
“We want people to visit theTwelfth and enjoy the atmosphere for themselves and we believe that the work we are doing with the tourist authorities is crucially important.”