ABOUT 4,000 people are expected to take part in an Orange Order march as the annual East of Scotland Boyne Parade comes to Prestonpans on Saturday.

The large parade, to mark the 327th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, is expected to attract members from all over Scotland, representing 74 Lodges and 42 bands.

The coast road between Prestonpans and Cockenzie will be closed to traffic for several hours on Saturday, as coachloads of marchers and bands from across Scotland arrive, with roads along the parade route also closed.

Coaches are expected to park on the coast road after dropping passengers at the start of the route at Mary Murray Park.

East Lothian Council said the B1348 from Appin Drive in Prestonpans to Whin Park Industrial Estate, Cockenzie, would be closed from 10am on Saturday until 3.30pm.

The County Grand Lodge of the East has produced a brochure detailing the history of Prestonpans, as well as information about the order and its work in communities, which will be distributed on the day.

Events begin in Mary Murray Park at 11am on Saturday, when there will be an exhibition tent from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, kids’ zone, stalls with memorabilia, refreshments and musical entertainment by Saracens Flute band.

Public addresses are expected to start at noon, with the parade scheduled to move off at 1pm.

It will go from Mary Murray Park through East Loan, High Street, Redburn Road, North Grange Avenue, West Loan, Preston Road, Schaw Road and Appin Drive, before finishing at Appin Drive’s junction with High Street (see map below).

East Lothian Courier:

The County Grand Lodge held an open day in Prestonpans Town Hall ahead of the parade and organisers said the day went well, with more than 300 people visiting the exhibition, along with ward councillors and community councillors.

Representatives from Lodges across Scotland, including those from as far north as Inverness, will be joined at the parade by bands from Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Central Scotland and West Lothian, as well as East of Scotland members.

Dave Reynolds, County Grand Secretary, said: “The County Grand Lodge of the East is delighted to have been invited to parade in Prestonpans by the members of East Lothian District LOL 44. The last time the county paraded in Prestonpans was on June 25, 2011, to celebrate District 44’s centenary year.

“This year will see 12 Districts parading comprising of 72 Lodges and supported by 45 bands.

“We hope that the community in Prestonpans and the surrounding areas come along on the day and enjoy the pageantry and colourful display of the bands, banners and bright orange sashes of the marchers.”

In Prestonpans, roads closed on the parade route from noon until 3pm on Saturday include: East Loan, Harlawhill, High Street between Harlawhill and Redburn Road, Redburn Road, North Grange Avenue, West Loan from junction of McLeod Crescent to Preston Road, Preston Road, Hawthorn Road, Schaw Road, Appin Drive. Dozens of side streets leading onto the closed roads will also be shut during the afternoon and parking restrictions will be in place from 6am until 3.30pm along the route and affected roads.

In 2011 when the Boyne Parade was last in Prestonpans it passed without incident, attracting up to 4,000 members.

County MSP Iain Gray was confident the same would happen this Saturday.

He added: “Communities with different histories, traditions and beliefs live side by side in Prestonpans, and other parts of East Lothian, as they have for generations, with tolerance and respect; I am sure that will be the case this week.”