The band travelled to Rasharkin on a very wet Friday night, for a parade that we had never been to before in the bands history.
This parade is under big attention of the media as the local Sinn Fein makes a meal of this parade the usual thing of Protestants being denied to express their culture and heritage on the Queens highways of Northern Ireland.
It is totally amazing that these people travelled miles (most are brought in by SF etc) to these areas to stand and abuse Protestants in their own villages and towns across the country. Many of the protestors are not from the area and they are just there to cause trouble and try to get the tensions built up within the local community at the end of the night they just go home and donít care about the after effects. The host band have done a great job standing up to these thugs and playing them at their own game, we arrived at the start of the parade in pouring rain just in time to join the tail end of the outward route.
There where good crowds of supporters on this wet night, as lots of families and people sheltered in cars or anything to hide from the elements. As we headed into the village we could see the large PSNI show of strength to watch over the bands and the SF/IRA supporters standing nearly toe-to-toe with the marches.
As per usual the clipboard, video cameras and digital cameras where out in force capturing every single moment of the parade, I must assume it is for there own personal usage as so many from the Short Strand do the same; I really wish these people would just come and say that they love the music that the loyalist band scene produces as SF/IRA has more footage than the BBC!
Tonight the band walked with 14 side drummers, 29 fluters, 2 bass drummers, colour party of 9, 4 cymbal boys and a drum major.
Below are a selection of photographs and video clips of the band in action.
I must praise all the bands and followers that where in attendance, everyone was well behaved and all the bands had their eyes forward and all played that bit louder for our foes to hear our fantastic music.
It really was a case of where our music is welcomed we will play it loud but where it is challenged we will play it louder! All the bands whom where there conducted themselves in the most highest esteem and this action annoys the SF/IRA movement more as they want to see violence happen so they can drive their propaganda machine into full force.
As mentioned this parade was new ground for us and we believe we are the only Belfast band to have ever done this parade, we received a great welcome from the locals and we all really enjoyed the whole evening.
Bans whom I saw on the night where Ballycraigy, Pride of the Maine, Ballykeel, Dunloy, Ballymena Protestant Boys, Dunaghy, Drumaheagles to name but a few of the 35 bands in attendance.
This parade was not a contest event but surely the winners tonight where all the bands who participated, the host band and the Protestant people of Rasharkin for standing up to SF/IRA scum whom area trying to bully the law abiding people of this area.
Once again well done to the host band and keep the faith!
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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