Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Dromore next month when the town hosts its first July 12 demonstration in 16 years.
Having last welcomed visiting bands and brethren en masse in the year 2000, the town is this year gearing up for what’s expected to be an Orange influx on an epic scale.
Organisers anticipate as many as 20,000 people will flock to Dromore for the pagenatry and music of the Twelfth, as the town plays host to the largest demonstration in County Down.
Some 100 lodges are expected in town on the day, along with up to 80 accompanying bands.
A total of eight districts will take part in proceedings.Orangemen and women will pour in from Bann Valley, Rathfriland, Banbridge, Lower Iveagh West, Loughbrickland, Gilford and Newry to join host district, Lower Iveagh, on parade.
A spokesperson said: “A number of Lambeg drums and all genres of music, provided by a host of high calibre bands, will add to the carnival atmosphere.”
The main parade will leave Ballymacormick Road at 12 noon. It will make its way through the town centre to the demonstration field at Lurgan Road.
“All parade participants will pass under an impressive Orange arch - located in Market Square - which was formally dedicated last summer,” the spokesperson said.
The new arch was opened by Lord Rogan of Lower Iveagh on June 27 last year.
It was dedicated by Wor Bro Rev Alistair Smyth and greetings were brought by the Rt Wor Bro Sam Walker - Grand Master of County Down Grand Orange Lodge - who will provide the main address in Dromore on the Twelfth.
Special guests will also included the Deputy Grand Master Harold Henning.
The return parade is due to commence at 3.45pm.
The Dromore demonstration will be one of 18 on July 12; the others will be in Portadown, Kilkeel (each selected as one of this year’s flagship Twelfth demonstrations) Belfast, Maguiresbridge, Limavady, Castledawson, Coagh, Newtownstewart, Aughnacloy, Randalstown, Glenarm, Ballymena, Ahoghill, Ballycastle, Donaghadee and Comber, with the traditional demonstration at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal, taking place on Saturday 9 July.