THOUSANDS are expected in Enniskillen when the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) hold their Easter Monday Parade in the town for the first time in 11 years.

The ABOD association is a Christian, historical and cultural organisation whose spirit is sustained and promoted by organising parades, exhibitions, lectures, music, art and drama.

Parades are held throughout the year including Easter Monday, and now after more than a decade, the parade will take place in Enniskillen.

The 3.2-mile parade will commence with a short religious service at noon, and move off from Holyhill car park at 12.30.

The parade will pause at the war memorial, proceed through the town, and finish again at Holyhill car park.

Several thousand people are expected to be in Enniskillen on Monday, and this will include the officers and members of the ABOD General Committee, amalgamated committees and their branches, parent clubs, branch clubs, and more than 40 bands.

Monday’s parade is being hosted by the ABOD South West Ulster Amalgamated Committee.

Chairman, Councillor Errol Thompson (DUP), said the parade should be an enjoyable day for all.

“I am really looking forward to the annual Apprentice Boys Easter Monday demonstration,” said Councillor Thompson.

“The annual Apprentice Boys Easter Monday demonstration is held at various locations, under the auspices of the Amalgamated Committees based in Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland.

“It will be 11 years to the date and day on Easter Monday since it was [last] held in Enniskillen, under the auspices of the South West Ulster Amalgamated Committee.”

Councillor Thompson said that in addition to those taking part, there will be a large number of spectators, including families with children.

He continued: “Where possible, I would encourage the businesses of the town to remain open, as this event should be a great boost to the economy of Enniskillen, and the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area.

“Over several months, as an organising committee, we have worked closely with the PSNI in the planning of this significant event.

“Those in attendance should follow the directions of the marshals and the police at all times.

“It is my sincere desire that all visitors and locals alike have a peaceful and enjoyable day in Enniskillen.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliot said the upcoming parade will be a “special day” for Enniskillen.

“This regional parade is for the South West sector, and it’s special for Enniskillen, given that it’s the first in 11 years,” said Mr. Elliot. “The event will bring a lot of people to Enniskillen. It’s something people do look forward to, especially as it takes place on Easter Monday.

“People look forward to the event and will bring their families along. It will be a major show of support for the ABOD organisation.”