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UK City of Culture to host Flagship Twelfth
08 April 2013

THE UK City of Culture for 2013 will host a flagship Twelfth demonstration in July, 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.

Londonderry will stage one of 18 demonstrations planned across the Province on July 12, all of which follow the traditional Rossnowlagh parade held in the Republic on the preceding weekend.

A number of events – including an educational production for schoolchildren and lecture series – are also planned in the run-up to the Londonderry parade, promoting and highlighting the long established Orange culture which forms an integral part of the heritage of the North West.

Orange Order Director of Services, Dr David Hume, said: “We are delighted that Londonderry will be the flagship tourist Twelfth of 2013 in what is a very special year for the city. The fact that this will be the only flagship of 2013 highlights the importance which the Grange Orange Lodge of Ireland places on the UK City of Culture status which has been accorded to Londonderry and Northern Ireland.

“The organisers of the Twelfth in Londonderry are offering a varied festival and their demonstration takes place in one of the most historic venues in Ulster.

“We are encouraging the Orange Twelfth hosts who will be trained to act as ambassadors for the event on the day to engage with local hoteliers and those involved in the tourist industry. We look forward to providing a training package for those who have agreed to be hosts.”

He added: “Twelfth flagship status places a great onus on the organisers of a particular Twelfth and we have every confidence that the officers and members of the City Grand Lodge in Londonderry will provide a fantastic event and wish them well in their planning.”

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: “The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s announcement today that it is to host its flagship Twelfth demonstration in Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture programme is welcome news.

“This year offers unprecedented opportunities for tourism in the North West and I have no doubt that the flagship Twelfth demonstration will attract a large number of visitors to Londonderry. The flagship concept focuses on broadening the appeal of parades to attract a tourism audience and I know those involved in the demonstration will provide a varied and vibrant programme of events for visitors to enjoy.

“I wish the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland every success with its preparations for the Twelfth.”

Chair of Culture Company 2013, Martin Bradley, said: “It’s fantastic that as Derry-Londonderry glories in its status as UK City of Culture the city is playing host to an extensive programme of Orange Order events.

“Given that 2013 is such landmark year for the city, marking as it does the 400th anniversary of the granting of the city charter and the building of the city walls, it’s particularly fitting that Derry-Londonderry will be the location for key elements of the Orange Order’s flagship celebrations.”

City of Londonderry Grand Master, James Hetherington, said: “2013 marks an exciting and important year in the city of Londonderry when the first ever UK City of Culture is celebrated. We are determined that the Orange culture will be celebrated and showcased throughout the coming months, with our events culminating in the hosting of the 323rd Anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in Londonderry on July 12.”


The 18 demonstrations on Friday, July 12, will be held in: Londonderry, Belfast, Glengormley, Carnlough, Ballymena Ahoghill, Magheragall, Rasharkin, Newtownhamilton, Bangor, Dundrum, Loughbrickland, Annalong, Ballinamallard, Magherafelt, Castlecaulfield, Donemana and Augher.

A Twelfth demonstration will be held in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, on Saturday, July 6.

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