Pride of Knockmore to host band festival

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Pride of Knockmore Flute Band will be welcoming some of Northern Ireland’s top bands to the city for the ‘Festival of Marching Bands’ next month.

Pride of Knockmore, which celebrated its fortieth anniversary last year, is proud of the traditional of marching bands and has decided to honour that tradition by hosting this special event in the city centre on Friday May 13.

“This is all about our culture,” explained Pride of Knockmore bandmaster Ian Gilbert.

“It is something different that will show our culture in the most positive way we can.

“We always had a band parade but we wanted to try something else that would promote the bands themselves in a different way.

“On the night we will have some of the best Blood and Thunder, and melody bands from all over Northern Ireland.

“Leading the parade will be one of the most respected bands in the province, Millar Memorial Flute Band.”

Millar Memorial Flute Band was established at Shaw’s Bridge in 1911 and it is still going strong today. Millar Memorial is widely recognised as one of the best melody bands in the UK.

The bands have been specially invited by Pride of Knockmore to take part in the festival and includes Omagh Protestant Boys, East Belfast and Clougher to name but a few.

“We have tried to get a good selection of bands and participation is by invite only,” explained Ian.

“We have some of the best marching bands this country has to offer.”

The parade will muster at the Smithfield car park in Lisburn City Centre and will move off around the city centre at 8pm.

“We have changed the route this year,” continued Ian.

“The parade route will be in the city centre and will start and end at the same point.

“The parade won’t be making its way up to Longstone this year but all of the the bands taking part in the festival will walk the route twice.

“This will give the crowd and the two independent judges more opportunity to appreciate some of the best bands in Northern Ireland.”

This will be an alcohol free zone and Pride of Knockmore are hoping that the people of Lisburn will come out to support this festival.

“There will be a good, family-friendly atmosphere and we are really hoping that everyone in Lisburn will come along and support us on the night and that everyone will show support for the bands who are taking part,” added Ian.