Markethill packed for annual parade

A few colourful characters were on hand to help at the annual Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band parade.
A few colourful characters were on hand to help at the annual Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band parade.

Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band hosted their annual band parade and competition in Markethill recently and crowds came in their thousands.

They witnessed a powerful display of music and colour from 91 marching bands of every musical genre, which were representative of seven Ulster counties.

The main procession got underway just after 7.30pm, led by Imperial Corps of Drums, Liverpool. A variety of accordion, pipe, silver, first flute and melody flute bands followed and they formed a continuous procession that took over three hours to pass.

County Armagh boasted 25 bands, with some other notable visitors travelling from Portavogie, Dungiven, Castlederg, Enniskillen, Downpatrick. Several bands made their inaugural appearance including Imperial Corps of Drums, Dungiven Crown Defenders and North Down First Flute.

The parade ended with the host band marching up through the town.

East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band were presented with the Adrian Coulter Memorial trophy for Best Overall Band.

A spokesperson from Kilcluney Volunteers Flute Band said, “The parade has been another great advertisement for the marching band scene both locally and throughout the country, proving without doubt the continued popularity and growth of the movement. Kilcluney would like to thank everyone who attended the parade and donated generously, ABC Council and the PSNI for ensuring that the event was both safe and enjoyable. Also, particular thanks must also be conveyed to the local people of Markethill who give tremendous support to the band, not only on the night but throughout the entire year.”

The band will now focus on preparations for the Liverpool and Southport July 12 celebrations.

Tuition classes for the flute and drum sections commence at 7.30pm every Monday night at Kilcluney Orange Hall.