On Thursday (17 March), a fast-jet flyover will mark exactly 100 days to go until North East Lincolnshire hosts the 2016 Armed Forces Day national event celebrations.
On 17 March at noon in Cleethorpes, service personnel will be joined by schoolchildren from a local school to help mark the momentous occasion. They will gather at the Armed Forces Gate where the service flags will be raised for the first time this year and the salute will be taken as the jet passes over.
The fly-over will mark the start of the countdown until North East Lincolnshire, and Cleethorpes in particular, becomes the focus of the nation’s attention as it hosts the Armed Forces Day national event on Saturday 25 June.
The Armed Forces Day aims to raise awareness of, show support for and celebrate the contribution of servicemen and women, past and present and this year, around 100,000 people are expected to attend.
The weekend will see spectacular displays from all three armed forces, including flying displays from the Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Parachute Display teams and the Royal Navy Black Cats helicopter display flight.
In the water, HMS Blyth will be visiting our shores along with other vessels. HMS Blyth is one of seven Sandown-class Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMV) based at Clyde Naval Base in Faslane, Scotland.
And back on land, vehicles such as the AS90, a Warrior and a Terrier will be among some of the highlights in the military villages.
Cllr Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
We’re extremely proud to have been chosen to host the Armed Forces Day national event for the UK this year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to our armed forces for the work they do and builds on the excellent work in previous years to get to this stage. The team have been working hard towards bringing what will be a spectacular show to the area. It’s going to be a memorable weekend, worthy of leading the nation in supporting and thanking our armed forces.
Leading up to the weekend, there’s a number of events to mark significant points in the calendar:
- 50 days to go: Tri-Service Ball at the Beachcomber, Cleethorpes
- 25 days to go: Battle of Jutland centenary
- Saturday, 18 June: Army vs Cleethorpes Town football matches
- Sunday, 19 June: Civic Sunday
- Monday 20 June: Formal arrival of the Armed Forces Day national event flags
- Tuesday 21 June: Longest Day 5K
- Wednesday, 22 June: Reserves Day and Cadet Games
- iday 24 to Sunday 26 June: Armed Forces Weekend
- Friday: Trading, displays and exhibitions open. Music from local military bands. Fireworks.
- Saturday: trading, displays and exhibitions, a major military parade which will see hundreds of personnel from the forces join cadets and veterans, a full flying display, ending with music and fireworks.
- Sunday: Family fun day – trading, displays and exhibitions, and with the addition of music and entertainment in the resort.
The displays and entertainment will be happening throughout the resort, from the Pier to the Boating Lake and all points in between, with displays opening from 10am and finishing at 6pm at the Boating Lake, and on into the evening around Armed Forces Gate with music from local and military bands.
If you’re interested in getting involved, there’s business and volunteering opportunities. Whether it’s sponsorship or time, if you think you have something to offer or want to advertise your business, find out more on www.armedforcescleethorpes.co.uk or like our Facebook page.