THE Apprentice Boys’ annual Lundy’s Day parade is taking place today in Derry to commemorates the 17th century siege of Derry.
Twenty-six bands and about 2,000 Apprentice Boys will participate in the main parade on Saturday afternoon. There will also be a thanksgiving service in St Columb’s Cathedral.
The day ends with a burning of an effigy of Lt Col Robert Lundy, known as Lundy the Traitor.
This year, there is a new governor of the Apprentice Boys, Graeme Stenhouse, who is originally from Edinburgh.
He said he wanted to build on the work of his predecessors and ensure that the “peaceful parading atmosphere” in the city continues.
“As we have seen over the last few years, there is a greater atmosphere about the town especially in August and December,” he said.
“Something that we have noticed is that there are more and more people coming over to the cityside to watch the parades.
“If you look at the money that is being brought into the city to hotels, restaurants etc, it is good for the local community that money is coming in and securing jobs as well.”
The marchers commemorate an event known as the Shutting of the Gates – when 13 apprentices locked the walled city’s gates against the approaching army of the Catholic King James II in December 1688.
The Siege of Derry lasted 105 days and cost over 10,000 lives, the majority of them civilians.