Fires will be lit across Northern Ireland tonight as the traditional Eleventh Night celebrations begin.
More than 160 crematoriums are expected to be lit to mark the key date in the Protestant Order’s parade season – the 12th of July.
Because July 11 falls on a Sunday this year, a number of fires have already been lit on Friday evenings and yesterday.
While the majority pass each year without incident, some remain a source of societal tension, with authorities previously stepping in to remove high-rise incinerators for health and safety reasons.
Some panfires also sparked criticism for burning election posters and effigies of politicians.
July 11 is also one of the busiest nights of the year for the fire service, which usually has to deal with a large number of fire emergency calls.
The most controversial fire this year was one set up by Loyalists at Tiger Bay in North Belfast, near an interface with the New Lodge national territory.
Two Stormont ministers, Nicolas Mallon of the SDLP and Deirdre Hargey of Sinn Féin, launched a failed legal attempt to compel police to help clear the fire.
Police refused to provide protection to removal contractors, citing concerns that their interference could lead to chaos.
Tiger Bay fire will be lit late at night.
Malone said that Nationalist residents who live near the site have experienced months of attacks, abuse and antisocial behavior during the campfire.
William Humphrey, a DUP MLA for the area, accused nationalist politicians of stirring up tensions in the area.
Following Friday’s court ruling, PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: “Northern Ireland Police has been working with a range of partners and stakeholders over a period of several months to ensure a peaceful summer, and will continue over the next month and over a number of days.”
“We urge residents of local communities to remain calm in the coming days,” he added.
The “Eleventh Night” fires precede the July 12th Parade, which will take place on Monday at 100 locations across Northern Ireland.
Last year’s rallies were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings.
The Orange Order said the rallies this summer will be smaller than usual and will be local.
The regular 18 main events will be replaced by more than 100 local parades.
The organization said that organizing smaller rallies was the best way to ensure that the demonstrations would go ahead.
The Twelfth March marks the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 – a victory within the Protestant line of succession to the British Crown.