Details of 13 July celebrations in Scarva and Bangor

One of the major events in Northern Ireland parade calendar, Sham Fight at Scarva, will take place this weekend.

Tens of thousands of visitors will converge on Co. Down the village on Saturday 13 July for the traditional celebration. There will be nine visiting lecturers, including visitors from Australia and New Zealand, who will join the parade of 4,000 members of the Royal Black Institution and around 85 bands.

Scarva is renowned for hosting the largest one-day event, at a single venue, anywhere in Northern Ireland.

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The mock battle between rival monarchs William and James and the grand procession through Scarva – organized by the Sir Knight Alfred Buller Memorial RBP 1000 – is firmly established as a unique cultural festival. RBP 1000 will lead the procession, accompanied by the Waringsford Pipe Band.

Sovereign Grand Master Rev William Anderson said: “The procession and mock battle at Scarva has a special place in the parade calendar and is a great day out for all the family. As a Christian institution, public worship is of the utmost importance to our members. The day is rooted in tradition, with lecturers carrying their wonderful banners depicting biblical scenes, and is a unique spectacle of music and festivities.”

Rev Anderson praised the team of organizers “for their dedication, commitment and professionalism in maintaining the only re-enactment of its kind on these islands”. The work behind the scenes has been going on for many months, but it is a labor of love for the organizing committee.

John Adair, famous for his portrayal of King William III, said: “The 13th at Scarva would not be the same without the Sham Fight. It is the last remaining sham fight in Europe, as far as I know. There used to be a in Bandon, Cork, but it has fallen by the wayside.

“It is a day of historic significance, and the performers are doing everything in their power to deliver an exciting performance that can be enjoyed by all.”

He is looking forward to the “fantastic response” from spectators as Scarvagh Demesne comes alive for the dramatic re-enactment of scenes from the Battle of the Boyne.

Colin Cairns will once again take on the role of King James, as performers in period costume line up to portray troops from the Williamite and Jacobite armies.

As the Williamites, in red and white, and the Jacobite faction, in green and white, come face to face, the demesne will echo to the sound of blank musket fire and the clash of swords as the entertaining spectacle unfolds.

King William (John Adair) will seek victory once again over King James (Colin Cairns) at the annual Sham Fight. – Credit: PressEye

The Sham Fight will take place after a grand parade with up to 4,000 members of the Royal Black, and with a variety of bands, consisting of flute, accordion, pipe, brass and silver. Royal Black teachers from Portadown, Markethill, Tandragee, Banbridge, Newry, Rathfriland, Morne and Lower Iveagh (Dromore) will attend.

The mile-long procession will flow through the village’s thronged high street to Scarvagh House, passing the centuries-old oak and chestnut trees in the demesne. Legend has it that King William tied his horse to one of the Spanish chestnut trees when he spent the night in camp at Scarva in June 1690 before moving on to the Boyne.

The procession leaves the assembly field on Gilford Road at 11.15 and makes his way to the demesne. Sham Fight will start at 1:30 p.m., with the service scheduled for 2 p.m. The platform proceedings will include an address from the Sovereign Grand Master.

Royal Black’s Annual Parade in Bangor

Royal Black Institution members from Lurgan will participate in their traditional parade i Bangor on July 13. Preceptors and bands traditionally gather at Brownlow House in Lurgan on the morning of the 13th, and a religious service is held before a parade in the town.

The parade leaves Brownlow House at 9.15; the return parade in Lurgan is scheduled for 6.15pm. A wreath is laid at the war memorial and then the Sir Knights board buses to Bangor.

In Bangor, the parade will proceed from Castle Park Avenue at 11.45 and make their way through the resort along Dufferin Avenue, Gray’s Hill, Queen’s Parade, Quay Street, Main Street and Hamilton Road.

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