THOUSANDS of marchers are expected to attend a large Orange Order parade in the centre of Glasgow today, amid calls from police and organisers for the event to pass off peacefully.
The annual procession, known as the County Grand Orange Order parade, will see traffic restrictions on some of the city’s streets as marchers mark the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.
The event, leaving from Cathedral Square, is one of the largest operations Police Scotland deals with each year.
Officers, who are expecting hundreds of others to watch and follow the parade, have warned members of the public to “leave the booze and the bigotry behind” if they are attending the event.
The warning has been echoed by the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.
Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, who is overseeing policing of the event, said: “Generally it is the unwelcome minority who turn up and use the event as an excuse to drink and cause offence who we have to deal with rather than the marchers themselves.
“We will not tolerate any sectarian or antisocial behaviour nor drinking in public. My officers will target anyone intent on causing any type of disruption on the day.
“Our message is clear - come along and enjoy the day. However, commit any offence, sectarian or otherwise, and you will be arrested.”
Last year’s event saw arrests for offences such as disorder and drinking in public.
The force said it has been working closely with the Orange Order to ensure this year’s parade passes off peacefully and safely.
Eddy Hyde, of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said: “As we look ahead to the Glasgow parade, and indeed to all of our main summer parades this year, we once again call upon every member of the Orange Order to enjoy the day with the utmost decorum.
“Our parades are a celebration of our heritage, not an excuse for anyone to criticise anyone else’s faith or beliefs.”
The event comes around a month after the order held a day dubbed “Orangefest” in Glasgow, despite major opposition voiced online.