Annual parade raises vital funds for band

Ballyclare Protestant Boys taking part in their annual parade.
Ballyclare Protestant Boys taking part in their annual parade.

A local flute band has thanked the community for their support after staging a successful parade in the borough.

Ballyclare Protestant Boys held their annual parade in the town on Friday, July 21.

The band decided to turn this year’s event into a competition.

A number of prizes were available, including Best Colour Party, Best Large Blood and Thunder, The Marching and Discipline award, Best Bass and Best Overall Band.

Gertrude Star Flute Band from east Belfast won the inaugural Best Overall Band award. The trophy is named after founding member of the band, Eric Weir, who passed away in 2012.

Commenting on the parade, vice chair of the band, Scott McDowell said: “I’d like to thank everyone who made our annual parade a huge success.

“This year we had some 20 bands from far and wide and had great support from the crowds on the street. This helped to raise vital funds for new uniforms, which we hope to obtain in the coming weeks.

“We’d like to also thank the local businesses, not only for the support on Friday night, but for the continued support they have shown over the last year.”

He added: “The band decided to have a competition parade this year, with the best overall trophy being named after the late Eric Weir who was a member of the band for many years. This was presented to the winning band by Eric’s family.

“We’d like to again thank the Weir family for their support and we look forward to the continued support of everyone involved in the months and years ahead.”

The band has steadily grown over recent years and is keen to attract new members.

Band practice takes place every Monday in the Blues Club in Ballyclare from 7pm until 9pm. They also have a learners’ class on a Thursday night from 7pm at the same venue.

Ballyclare Protestant Boys will head to Lisbellaw on Saturday, July 29 for the Defenders of the Rock annual parade.