North Antrim Orangemen to meet in Rasharkin on Twelfth

THIS year’s Twelfth of July celebrations embracing the North Antrim combine will take place in Rasharkin.

The districts of Bushmills, Ballymoney, Ballycastle and Cloughmills will visit the host district for a parade through the village.

More than 40 lodges will take part in the demonstration with a rich variety of music on parade with 26 bands encompassing the accordion, flute and pipe genres accompanied by a number of Lambeg drums.

The parade – involving up to 2,000 participants - will assemble on the Finvoy Road and set off at 1pm through the village via Main Street and Church Road to the demonstration field at Church Lane.

There, a religious service will be held when the guest speaker will be Rev Mervyn Gibson, a Grand Chaplain of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

The provision of stalls, hot and cold food counters, together with bouncy castles will add to the family-friendly atmosphere.

The Twelfth is held in Rasharkin every five years and a large crowd is expected at the North Antrim venue as the parade makes its way along the three-mile route.

Visitors will come from the United States and Canada and bands will also be brought in from Scotland to lead some of the local Lodges.

The assembly field has been changed this year. Recently, members of the Rasharkin district met in Ballymaconnelly Orange Hall to rubber stamp a new ‘field’ leaving the Communnity Centre facility which was deemed unsuitable for the type of activities now being introduced by the Order.

Meanwhile, the Independent brethren will meet in Portglenone, assembling at the Townhill road before moving off at 1 p.m. to the platform field on the Clady Road.

A religious service will follow with local MLA, Mervyn Storey, proposing the resolutions.

Bro. James Anderson, the County Grand Master, will act as chairman.

Veteran member, James McClure, will second the resolutions.