Organisers insist ‘Orangefest’ has been a success

The Black Skull flute band perform in George Square, Glasgow, during Orangefest. Picture: PA

The Black Skull flute band perform in George Square, Glasgow, during Orangefest. Picture: PA

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ORGANISERS of an Orange Order event in Glasgow insist the day has been a success despite gales which forced them to scale it back.

The Order’s Cultural and Heritage Day, dubbed “Orangefest”, is taking place in George Square despite major opposition voiced online.

Spectators battle with the bad weather in George Square, Glasgow, during Orangefest. Picture: PA

Spectators battle with the bad weather in George Square, Glasgow, during Orangefest. Picture: PA

Gusts of up to 50mph meant two large exhibition marquees and a children’s bouncy castle were not erected as planned.

Piping, dancing and talks went ahead for guests in the square which was limited to 2,000 people, Edward Hyde said.

The head of the city’s 182 lodges said: “Unfortunately due to the velocity of the wind we’ve had to cancel some things. Other than that the event has gone very well.

“It’s been a wonderful day, despite the weather.”

The Orange Order said the event has been organised to help foster a better understanding of the organisation, which describes itself as the oldest and biggest Protestant Christian fraternity in Scotland.

The activities were approved by Glasgow City Council but an online petition calling for the event to be cancelled has drawn almost 30,000 signatures.

The petition says: “The people of Glasgow and Scotland are sick of their voices going unheard in relation to sectarian, hate-filled orange marches. Now we have to put up with Orangefest.

“We demand that GCC answer to the people of Glasgow as to why this was allowed to go ahead in a city-centre location on a busy Saturday.”

The Orange Order said the event was an “open invitation to gain a better understanding of one of Glasgow’s oldest and biggest fraternal and charitable organisations, warts and all”.

Mr Hyde said ahead of Saturday: “Most people’s only experience of the Order is if they happen upon a street parade.

“They know little or nothing about the Order’s purpose, the huge contribution we have made and still make to the life of our wonderful city, nor the amazing extent of our charity work.

“Hopefully our Heritage Day will demolish a few myths and give people a better understanding of who we are and what we stand for.”

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