Twelfth: Pageantry and colour in Antrim

King William leads the Twelfth parade in Antrim.  Picture: Lorna McKay
King William leads the Twelfth parade in Antrim. Picture: Lorna McKay

‘King William’ provided plenty of pageantry and colour leading this year’s Twelfth celebrations in Antrim.

Setting off on horseback, flanked by three outriders, he paved the way for over 8,000 members of local Orange Lodges led by brethren from host district Killead LOL No 17, as they made their way from Fountain Hill to the field at Castle Road.

Daphne Frazer and Rachel Boyd with Mumford kitted out in his Sash for the Twelfth parade in Antrim. Picture: Lorna McKay

Daphne Frazer and Rachel Boyd with Mumford kitted out in his Sash for the Twelfth parade in Antrim. Picture: Lorna McKay

The town had the privilege of hosting the East Antrim combine - comprising of nine District Lodges and encompassing approximately 70 private Lodges - for the first time in five years.

Districts represented on the day included Killead, Larne, Randalstown, Staffordstown, Antrim, Sixmilewater, Carrickfergus, Cloughfern and Carnmoney.

The day held special significance for the brethren of Cairncastle LOL 692 who are celebrating their 190th anniversary this year.

Hydepark LOL 167 and Roughfort LOL 1070 also displayed new banners on the day.

Jackie, Amanda, Etta and Libby with children Harvey, Olivia, Seya, Max, Abigail, Aidan, and Tori, pictured at Antrim Twelfth parade. Picture: Lorna McKay

Jackie, Amanda, Etta and Libby with children Harvey, Olivia, Seya, Max, Abigail, Aidan, and Tori, pictured at Antrim Twelfth parade. Picture: Lorna McKay

One of the bigger Twelfth demonstrations outside of Belfast, the parade was complimented by around 60 marching bands.

Large crowds lined the parade route - despite a heavy drizzle which began to lift towards the end of the parade, which took in the town’s main thoroughfare of Fountain Street, Church Street, High Street and Bridge Street, along the Dublin Road and Randalstown Road to the demonstration field on the Castle Road.

At the demonstration field, a religious service was conduced by Reverend Brother John Farr of Stoneyford Parish Church.

There were also four special guests at this year’s event including former Antrim man Herbert Mailey, who is Grand Master in New South Wales; David McMichael, Deputy Grand Master Queensland; Sister Janice McMichael; and Jim McHarg, Grand Master of Scotland.