The Boroughs first ever Mayor’s show was held on 27th May 1966 and was organised by Portadown junior chamber of commerce. The Chief emphasis of the event was to showcase Portadown’s Industrial capacity. The show featured a procession of decorated floats, with local bands and organisations including youth organisations taking part.
Portadown Mayor at the time was Collr. R.J. Williamson. An award for the best float on display was up for grabs, although this was not an easy win, as the competition was open to all of Co.Armagh. It was described as the best event of its kind outside of Belfast. The Chairman of the organising committee was Mr Bob Raj.
Sir John Lavery was born in Belfast on 17th March 1856. He studied at the Glasgow College of Art and then progressed to London and Paris. For his outstanding contribution to the art world he was knighted in 1918. A painting of his capturing the image of an Orange Parade in Portadown on 12th July 1928 is on prominent display in the Ulster Museum in Belfast. On his arrival in the town he made his way to the Classic Bar it was the perfect position to see and paint the Orange Parade. Portadown has long been regarded as the Orange Citadel and this was probably what influenced Sir John to travel to the town on the morning of the twelfth. Portadown is only a few miles from the Diamond area of Loughgall where the Orange Order was formed after the Battle of the Diamond in 1795. Shortly after the battle, Portadown District was the first District formed in Ireland.