Easter Monday ABOD parade

Easter Monday parade in Coleraine.
Easter Monday parade in Coleraine.

Coleraine will host the Apprentice Boys’ of Derry Easter Monday celebrations on April 6.

This is only the second time this parade has been held in the town, the first time being nearly 40 years ago in April 1976. A lapel badge has been commissioned to mark the occasion.

The hosts, the Coleraine and District Amalgamated Committee will welcome visiting Brethren from England, Scotland, across Northern Ireland and the border counties and accompanying bands.

The Committee will run a cultural celebration in the Diamond on Saturday, April 4, from 12 noon to 4pm, thanks to an Awards for All grant they received. There will be a historical re-enactment giving a representation of the Siege of Derry featuring music and dance, there will be a full programme of traditional music by the Hounds of Ulster and Freeman Auld Hands. An exhibition of regalia relating to the Apprentice Boys will also be held on the Saturday.

The grant awarded will also allow the Committee to run a series of historical workshops, facilitated by George Dallas, to give a further insight into the history of the Apprentice Boys of Derry including the Siege and the role of Coleraine and surrounding villages in this important period of our history.

Volunteers will also benefit from an extensive training programme, including Event Management, First Aid, Risk Assessment, Child Protection and Media Awareness, to allow them to deliver a first class event over the two days.

Coleraine and District Amalgamated Committee, with their affiliated Branch Clubs and engaged bands, will hold an act of remembrance at the Cenotaph in the Diamond during which a new bannerette and District Officers’ regalia will be dedicated.

The service will be conducted by Rev. Amanda Adams, Rector of Ballyrashane and Kildollagh Parish with the parade to the cenotaph leaving the Showgrounds, Ballycastle Road at 11am.

They will proceed along Ballycastle Road, Railway Road, Kingsgate Street, Church Street to the Diamond and return by Church Street, Kingsgate Street,

Railway Road, Bushmills Road, Windsor Avenue to Ballycastle Road.

The main parade, led by the Colour Parties of General Committee and Coleraine and District Amalgamated Committee and Ballyrashane Protestant Flute Band, will leave the Showgrounds at 12.30pm, accompanied by over 60 bands and Branch Clubs.

The parade will make its way along Ballycastle Road, Railway Road, Lodge Road, Nursery Avenue, Beresford Road, Terrace Row, Beresford Place, Blindgate Street, Dunmore Street, Abbey Street, Bridge Street, the Old Bridge, Lower Killowen Street, Waterside, the Old Bridge, Circular Road, Queen Street, the Diamond, Church Street, New Row, New Market Street, Long Commons, Brook Street, Union Street to the Ballycastle Road for dispersal.

Parade organisers will endeavour to keep disruption to traffic in the town to a minimum.

They do however wish to make the public aware that there will be unavoidable interruption to the flow of traffic in the town and access to car parks in the area will be affected during the parade.

The Officers of Coleraine and District Amalgamated Committee look forward to welcoming all visiting Brethren, bandsmen, and members of the general public to Coleraine, site of the earliest known settlement in Ireland, to join with them in their Easter Monday celebrations.

Further information about all events can be obtained by emailing the Secretary of Coleraine and District Amalgamated Committee at coleraineanddistamalgamated@gmail.com.

Last month, preparations for the celebration began with a variety concert in Ballymoney Town Hall. Local bands including Ballyrashane Protestant Flute Band, Topp Star of the North Pipe Band, Articlave Flute Band, Garvagh Men’s Choir and Riada Concert Group were involved. This event was financially supported by t Ballymoney Borough Council.