Larne will host one of three flagship tourist Twelfth of July demonstrations this year, the Orange Order has confirmed.
The 8,000-strong East Antrim Combine parade, along with those in Limavady and Markethill will 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.
DETI Minister Arlene Foster helped launched the flagships initiative at Stormont on Tuesday, when she said: “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.”
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.
“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.”