Ballykeel Loyal Sons of Ulster, Ballymena
This band has made the long trip to Kilkeel to our own parade for many years and on this occasion we had the honour of leading their annual parade in the North Antrim Down.
It was particularly pleasing for our Drum Major Darren who was joined at the front of the band by his son Craig. I couldn't possibly comment on who was the better drum major on parade.
Remarkably the bus arrived on time and the band paraded round to the assembly point at the start of what was a new route for the parade this year.
A big band again on parade despite a busy weekend, 24 flutes, 11 drums, 8 flags, 2 percussion and 2 drum majors.
We managed to get a special word with a very special guest for our DVD (Which will be on sale next year). We can't reveal his identity but let's just say he was celebrating a successful election.
Our Grass Technician was back for the trip after spending the night looking after his sick wife. It's been suggested she was glad to see the back of him on Saturday, 1 night was more than enough.
The new route was a nice change, although there was not the usual high turn out of spectators that we have come to expect at the Ballymena parades. Perhaps the weather had something to do with that.
Anyway, The route took around an hour to complete, and was followed by visits to various refreshment establishments.
That was the first of 2 visits we plan to make to Ballymena this year. We will endeavor to make it to the parade hosted by Pride of the Maine on June 4th.