By Staff Reporter
Regarded as the biggest gathering of Orangemen on the day, a total of 11 District lodges will be on parade for this year’s event, with a total of 154 private lodges and almost 5,000 brethren stepping out in Portadown.
County Armagh Grand Orange Lodge has registered a significant increase in membership over the past year and many brethren will be on parade for the first time. They will be joined by ladies from the Women’s Institution who will be stepping out, along with a number of Junior lodges.
The county is regarded as the birthplace of Orangeism and has its own museum at Sloan’s House in Loughgall. The Museum of Orange Heritage recently welcomed His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who visited the outreach facility in May.
The lodges of the host District will leave Carleton Street Orange Hall at 9.15am, and headed by Grand Lodge and County Grand Lodge Officers will proceed to the War Memorial in the centre of the town for a short memorial service, to commemorate all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in two World Wars other conflicts, including the Troubles. From there, the District will parade to Edenderry, to await the arrival of the first of the visiting Districts.
The main parade, led by Edgarstown Accordion Band and Portadown Ex-Servicemen’s LOL 608, will commence at 10.15am, and proceed through the town centre via Bridge Street, High Street, Market Street and Church Street to the demonstration field on the Armagh Road.
Portadown District will be followed by Richhill, Killylea, Loughgall, Lurgan, Newtownhamilton and Markethill Districts; the remainder of the Districts, namely, Armagh, Bessbrook, Tandragee and Keady will parade as they arrive, and by 12.45pm, all Districts should be in the demonstration field.
The return parade is scheduled to leave the demonstration field at 3pm, led by members of Killylea District LOL No 7, and reviewed by Grand Lodge and County officers.