We attended this parade which was our third parade of a busy weekend for the band and after another long bus journey ity was good to arrive in Ballymoney with good weather to greet us.
Large crowds and a good number of bands had also came out tonight to support the host band which was also our fist time in Ballymoney for this parade and again we were well received up here and many thanks to everyone for their very kind reception.
It will come to no surprise that we were the last band to arrive and therefore the last to take the parade route; it really does amaze me how many times this happens as we left our band hall in good time to arrive at the parade earlier, must be the bus driver then! Just a little joke towards Sammy our regular driver!
Unfortunately I didnít get to see very many bands tonight at all and th eons I did catch a sight off was for a very split second but I did mange to identify Dunloy, Ballyhalbert and Staffordstown all so sorry on this short report as I am sure other people could give a better account on the bands that attended this event.
As I have never done this parade before it was good to visit a place that we have never had the privilege to attend this year the East Belfast Protestant Boys have done more parades in the North Antrim/Londonderry area more than ever in our history for one season.
Tonight we walked with 15 side drummers, 25 fluters, 2 bass drummers, colour party of 7, 4 cymbal boys and a drum major. A good size of band after a good but long weekend where the band picked up many plaudits and praise as well as making new fiends and building bridges among bandsmen and supporters.
The band where presented with the following awards during lthe parade competition results:
1st Blood and Thunder Band
1st Blood and Thunder Drum Corps
1st Blood and Thunder Bass Drum
1st Style and Appearance
1st Junior Drum Major
1st Best Overall Band
Every parade we have visited up North we have always received a great reception from all the locals and it really is a breath of fresh air for us as for years we have always tended to stick to the parades that the routine allowed us to do so.
Most of these parades away from the Belfast and County Down areas are no competition parades which I must say we didnít even notice until other people point that fact out to us; we have the same attitude for all parades which is to go out and play our best to entertain all the spectators who have taken the time to come out and watch the parades; nice comments from people after we have paraded are well worth more than prizes.
I hope this year we have upset a few people regarding non-contest parade, what I mean by this is that our band knows the difference between contest and supporting parade; the tag Ďglory huntersí is well and truly a myth with the East Belfast Protestant Boys supporting the Protestant people of Northern Ireland in area under pressure from the SF/IRA movement will always be our goal.
Drumaheagles are a well respected band in the Ballymoney area and many thanks to them for the invitation to play in Ballymoney and we really enjoyed our night out.
East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band Chairman
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