THE UK City of Culture for 2013 will host a flagship Twelfth demonstration, the Orange Order has confirmed.
The Twelfth in Londonderry has been chosen – in this a showcase year for the Maiden City – to provide an enhanced cultural experience as part of the biggest annual festival in Northern Ireland.
The three most senior Orangemen in the British Isles will attend the celebrations.
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson; Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of England, Ron Bather; and the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, Henry Dunbar, will all be on parade in the Maiden City.
Upwards of 10,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the festivities with the numbers watching swelled by holidaymakers staying on the north coast, seeking to witness the spectacle of an Orange parade in the historic city.
City of Londonderry Grand Orange Lodge officers will be accompanied on parade with a new hand painted banner and will also wear new collarettes commemorating the city’s UK City of Culture status.
The new regalia were dedicated at St Columb’s Cathedral on July 7.
Approximately 60 lodges representing the districts of City of Londonderry, Raphoe (Co Donegal), Coleraine, Limavady, Macosquin and Claudy will participate in the main demonstration. Members of the Ladies Association and Junior Lodges will also take part in the parade. They will be accompanied by over 40 bands.
King William and Mary will create an historic atmosphere in the city associated with the famous siege of 1688-1699 as they walk through the streets of Londonderry and lead the main procession.
The main parade will depart from May Street at 12 noon and walk to the demonstration field at Wilton Park.
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: “I wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success.”