Sunday is the day of the annual Drumcree parade – and the timetable follows the accustomed lines of previous years.
The Orangemen and Women will meet at Carleton Street at 10am and, after prayers and short speeches, they will move off at 10.15am accompanied by two accordion bands – Edgarstown and Mavemacullen.
The outward route is down the centre of Portadown to the Castle Street roundabout and then to Drumcree Church – back uptown and via West Street, Northway, Corcrain, Dungannon Road and the Rector’s Turns to the Church of the Ascension for 11.30am service.
There will be the usual attempt for the return parade to proceed back into town via the Garvaghy Road. But the NI Parades Commission has – as is the custom – banned the parade and there will be a protest at police lines. District Secretary David Jones will deliver a verbal challenge to the PSNI officers on duty.
After this is refused, there will be a religious service at the barrier, conducted by District Chaplain Cecil Allen. Then the District Master Darryl Hewitt will deliver his speech condemning the commission and calling for face-to-face talks with the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition.
The deadline for the Orange Order and supporters to vacate the area is 2.30pm, but this is invariably disregarded.
Recent ‘Drumcrees’ have been peaceful and there is every indication this will follow the pattern.
The traditional evening parade to Seagoe Parish Church will be, as ever, straightforward. The Brethren will leave Edenderry Orange Hall at 6.30pm for seven o’ clock service - they are asked to meet at 6.15pm.
Lurgan and Portadown Districts unite for the event.