02/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 19:00

Shops to open for Twelfth parades

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 7th Jul 2010 10:40:23

Shops and business in Belfast city centre will again open during the Twelfth of July parade.

Last year was the first time in a generation businesses had opened.

Orangefest and Belfast City Centre Management have been working on the initiative in partnership with the Police and other organisations.

Shops will open at 1230 BST when the parade has passed through the city centre and will close again at 1630 BST an hour before the parade returns.

Councillor William Humphrey said the decision would "enhance the family-friendly atmosphere".

"The County Grand Lodge of Belfast and Orangefest have been working for several years to enhance the family friendly atmosphere to the Twelfth and this has been extremely successful. The colour, pageantry and music of the Twelfth is enjoyed by tens of thousands of people.

"Last year we went into partnership with all the relevant organisations to ensure that shops and businesses could open for a period on the Twelfth.

"It was a fantastic success. Once people had enjoyed the parade they were able to visit local shops or restaurants for a few hours before the return parade."

The parades mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne in which William of Orange defeated King James.

Organisers say more than 250,000 people either take part in, or watch, the parade.

Traditionally, shops across Northern Ireland closed on the day of the Twelfth parades.

Andrew Irvine, of Belfast City Centre Management, said in terms of visitor numbers, the Twelfth of July celebrations is the largest annual event.

"For the second consecutive year the City Centre shops are open and providing some fantastic special officers," he said.

"Whether visitors wish to watch the Orangefest procession, or simply enjoy the shops, Belfast City Centre is open for business and has something to offer everyone this Twelfth."

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BBC News, 2010. Shops to open for Twelfth parades [Online] (Updated 7th Jul 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/73129/Shops-to-open-for-Twelfth-parades [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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