One of the most popular events in Mid and East Antrim is set to make a much-anticipated return to Carrickfergus after a three-year absence.
The Royal Landing is expected to draw a crowd of up to 10,000 people to enjoy the re-enactment of the landing of King William III at Carrickfergus Castle, on Saturday 11 June.
Previously, the event has provided a significant financial boost for local retailers and the hospitality sector by attracting visitors from across Northern Ireland, the Republic, and UK mainland.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events and the organisers said excitement levels are building for its long-awaited return.
Mid and East Antrim Councillor Cheryl Brownlee, who is part of the Royal Landing organising committee, said: “The Royal Landing is such a popular event with all ages, and we are delighted to be able to bring it back to Carrickfergus.
“It started off as a brilliant event for local people to enjoy, but it continues to snowball in popularity and has become a real tourist attraction in recent years, which is great for our local economy.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate our shared history and heritage, and there will be a wide array of free, family activities to enjoy.”
She added: “There will be a series of activities throughout the town leading up to the main event. The pageant and festival culminate in a recreated, ceremonial landing at Carrickfergus on the Saturday, complete with period-dress soldiers, horses, artillery and historical trappings from a host of European countries.
“Throughout the area, there will be actors in period costumes performing and members of the Orange Order on parade, with guests from all over Ireland and Great Britain participating.
“We will have 20 marching bands on parade throughout the day, with musical styles and arrangements to suit all tastes.
“There will also be a range of fantastic, children’s entertainment located at Marine Gardens throughout the day.”
The main parade leaves Woodburn Playing Fields at 12 noon to walk to the harbour for a 1pm Landing re-enactment.
The pageantry will then walk through the town centre to Marine Gardens. The return parade will begin at 4pm from Marine Gardens.
Following agreement earlier this month, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is providing financial support for the event.
For more details, please see the Royal Landing Carrickfergus Facebook page.