Monday saw the official ceremony of the raising of the Show Your Support for Armed Forces Day flag, and now Scarborough is ready to put on a show in honour of the nation’s servicemen and women.
Armed Forces Day is set to be another spectacular affair with a variety of events, parades, activities and displays scheduled for Saturday June 29 in the town.
The afternoon’s programme will get underway at noon with a welcome by the Mayor of Scarborough and the presentation of badges to veterans.
A highlight of the day is an air display by most recognisable aerobatics display team in the world, The Red Arrows, who will be showing off their trademark flying skills for over 20 minutes, starting from 2pm.
An air display by RAF Typhoon fighter planes will also take place earlier in the day at 1pm, The afternoon will also include a flypast involving the historic Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane aircraft which make up the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Other aerial activity during the afternoon will see members of the Ravens Parachute Display Team, who are all serving paratroopers, use military precision to land on the beach, weather permitting, after leaping from an aircraft at 10,000ft.
They will fly an Armed Forces Day flag on their descent and will set off coloured smoke flares strapped to their ankles.
Meanwhile on the ground, there will be performances by the renowned Military Wives Choir, a veterans’ parade, a special beach boot camp and dozens of stalls and activities for all the family.
On the ground, there will be a veterans’ parade, a special beach boot camp, two flight simulators – the Royal Air Force Associations Wings Appeal simulator and the Help For Heroes Experience simulator, which will provide the public with the opportunity to experience a pilot’s eye view of flight and appreciate the skills and experience required to be a RAF pilot - information and displays about The Red Arrows, paintballing, a climbing tower, equipment displays, vintage military vehicles and much more.
A flypast by a RAF Sea King helicopter will mark the end of the event at 5pm.
Cllr Tom Fox, leader of Scarborough Council and chairman of Scarborough’s Armed Forces Day steering group, said: “To secure The Royal Air Force Red Arrows is a huge coup for Scarborough and shows how highly regarded nationally our Armed Forces Day celebrations have become.
“It’s difficult to predict the number of people that will attend, but we anticipate there will be many thousands on the seafront over the course of the day if the weather is good, which would be an enormous show of support for our Armed Forces personnel.
“As we have done every year since the very first Armed Forces Day in 2009, we want to raise awareness of their outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of this country and say thank you to those men and women from the Armed Forces community, including serving personnel and their families, veterans and the town’s cadet forces, for all that they do.”
John Anderson, president of the Scarborough branch of the Royal British Legion, said he was delighted with the plans.
He said: “It promises to be another fantastic day for the people of Scarborough.
“Scarborough Council continues the tradition of improving year on year their commitment to our armed forces past, present and future.”
Mr Anderson added that he was very impressed with the range and number of events and attractions taking place on the day.
He continued: “I’m hoping that it will be just as successful as previous years, if not more so.
“The Red Arrows will be a magnificent draw and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Mr Anderson, who is also a member of the Armed Forces Day committee, said a lot of work is going on behind the scenes and will continue to do so on the run-up to the big day.
In recent years, The Red Arrows have been a regular fixture at Whitby Regatta, drawing in huge crowds each year.
The event has also featured a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with Spitfire and Hurricane fighter planes, which has also proved hugely popular.
This year’s Armed Forces Day in Scarborough is being hosted and organised by Scarborough Borough Council and Welcome to Yorkshire in partnership with the Royal Air Force, Heroes Welcome scheme, South Bay Traders Association and Royal British Legion, with financial support from the Ministry of Defence and the borough council.
To ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible, Scarborough Council is appealing for volunteers aged 18 plus to help out on the day, whether for an hour or two, or for the entire event.
Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Kathryn Duck, Armed Forces Day Volunteer Co-ordinator by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07732 064678.