Leeds Armed Forces Day 2016 set to hit the heights later this month
The professionalism, courage and commitment of the British Armed Forces is once again to be recognised with a day of special events and activities in Leeds later this month.
Held on Saturday 25 June from 11am-4pm as part of national Armed Forces Day, the people of Leeds will be able to thank members of the armed forces for all of their hard work both at home and abroad in a free city centre event. Locations set to host activities and events on the day will include; Victoria Gardens, Cookridge Street and the front of Leeds Town Hall. Giving the civic seal of approval to Leeds Armed Forces Day 2016 is the new Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Gerry Harper, who along with hosting the day will also be meeting the troops and members of the public.
Since the First Leeds Armed Forces Day was held, interest in the event has continued to grow and kicking off the celebrations this year will be a parade through the city centre, featuring service men and women and also cadets from across the city. Also on hand to entertain the crowds will be a variety of displays, military vehicles and military-related stalls; with family-friendly activities including a climbing wall, Breeze Boot Camp and fun, themed crafts.
A key element of Armed Forces Day is to highlight the contribution of veterans, and there will be a chance to meet and speak to them about their experiences as a member of the British Armed Forces. As always a specially constructed stage will be located on Cookridge Street showcasing an array of performers.
A Drum Head Service is also scheduled to take place on the steps of Leeds City Art Gallery and in something not to be missed, a flyover over the city centre will weather permitting, take place by a legendary Lancaster Bomber.
Present at the official launch of Armed Forces Day 2016 were Leeds City Council’s Armed Forces Champion Cllr Graham Hyde and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Gerry Harper, who were joined by Soldiers and representatives from the Yorkshire Regiment, Royal Mechanical & Electrical Engineers (REME), 4 Para, the Royal Navy and veterans.
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The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper, said:
“Leeds is a city which has a rich and long history with our armed forces, and we are immensely proud to be hosting once again our own Armed Forces Day event on Saturday June 25 as a way of small thanks for everything that they do on our behalf both at home and abroad.
“The great support from the public in such a relative small space of time has meant that Armed Forces Day is one of the most popular civic events of the year, which just goes to show how much our serving personnel and veterans are appreciated by the people of Leeds. The work that goes in to arrange Armed Forces Day is immense, and I would like to offer council staff, representatives of all the services in the military and charities, groups and organisations a big thank you for all of their help.
Councillor Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council’s armed forces champion said:
“Planning for our next Armed Forces Day event in Leeds starts almost immediately after the day is over, and I am delighted to say that once again through the efforts of so many people, we have been able to put together a programme for this year which promises to be one of the very best yet.
“Once again popular favourites such as the parade, stalls and a variety of entertainment perfect for all the family will be making a return, and in something very special, there will also be weather permitting, a flyover from a Lancaster bomber.
“As a council and city we greatly value our armed forces, and this day is one example of the work we undertake with representatives of the forces and its charities throughout the year to publicise their role and to also provide meaningful support through for example initiatives such as our Community Covenant.”
Paul Thompson, chair of the Yorkshire Malayan and Borneo Veterans Association, said:
“Armed Forces Day is always a fantastic occasion in Leeds as it allows both serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans to march and come together as one and be able to share their experiences serving, not just with each other, but also importantly with the public.
“Through events such as Armed Forces Day, this is an opportunity for the people of Leeds to not just celebrate our Armed Forces but also find out more about the job that they do and their history.”
IMAGE: The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Gerry Harper and Cllr Graham Hyde (centre) are joined at the official launch of Armed Forces Day by members of the British Armed Forces and veterans.