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Southport to host North West’s biggest Armed Forces Day celebration

On Sunday, 30th June 2024, people are invited to Southport to enjoy in the largest Armed Forces Day celebration in North West.

In recent years, the popular, free event has grown in size and promises to be even bigger and better than ever before for visitors of all ages.

Southport to host North West's biggest Armed Forces Day celebration
Southport Armed Forces Day. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

With a great range of events scheduled on and around Lord Street in Southport town centre from 10am onwards, the Royal British Legion Southport and SSAFA Merseyside have joined forces to bring everyone together on this fantastic day.

Don’t miss the Southport Armed Forces Day parade, which will start at 10.30am.

The parade will set off from Chapel Street and will finish at Southport Town Hall, where participants will take the salute with the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Mark Blundell and Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns. 

Southport to host North West's biggest Armed Forces Day celebration
Southport Armed Forces Day. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

All Regimental standard bearers and veterans or those still serving from all services are welcome to march in the parade. 

Among those taking part will be The Liverpool Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums; The Band of the 4th Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment; Merseyside Army Cadet Force; 281 Southport Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets; and Southport Sea Cadets. 

This year’s Southport Armed Forces Day takes place just a few weeks after the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings during World War Two. 

The Atkinson on Lord Street will host Armed Forces Day activities and displays while the Town Hall Gardens will be full of things to enjoy. 

The centre of Lord Street will be closed while the event is taking place, with a large number of visitors expected from across the region. 

This year at Southport Armed Forces Day, you can enjoy: Live music, Fairground, Armed Forces Day activities inside The Atkinson, Ukrainian choir, Craft stalls, Military vehicles, Armed Forces stands, Food stands, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Bar, and Paintball range.

Southport to host North West's biggest Armed Forces Day celebration
Southport Armed Forces Day. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Southport Royal British Legion Chair Major Nick McEntee is particularly looking forward to the event this year, on what will be a doubly special day. 

It will be his very last day in the British Army, having served his country all around the world for 43 years and 9 months. 

He said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the biggest Armed Forces Day celebration in the North West. We want it to be a real celebration of Britain’s Armed Forces, both past and present. 

“There won’t be a big Armed Forces Day event in Liverpool this year, so Southport will host the main event in our region, and we hope people come and join us. Our ambition is to make Southport the best independent Armed Forces Day celebration in the UK. 

“This is going to be the biggest Armed Forces Day event Southport has seen, with lots going on for everyone to enjoy throughout the day. 

“We’ll have lots of historic armed forces vehicles on display along Lord Street courtesy of the Military Vehicle Trust; our parade; live music; stalls; military stands; food and drink; and we are delighted The Atkinson will be open once again staging their events. 

“Crave Pizza will have a marquee for people to visit. We will have more fairground rides than ever before. Lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars will be open throughout Southport town centre so it’s the perfect time for visitors to make a day of it in Southport. 

“We are very keen to get the word out to let as many people as possible know this event is happening and what they can enjoy. 

“Southport Armed Forces Day was a huge success last year and we want to build on that this time to make it even better.” 

The event has been organised by two local charities; Southport Royal British Legion and SSAFA. 

It costs a substantial sum to organise, with costs including road closures. 

Local businesses are welcome to donate and support the event. 

Major Nick McEntee said:

“Southport Armed Forces Day costs money to put on and if any local businesses or residents would like to make any donations or sponsor any elements of our event, then we’d love to hear from you! 

“This is a fantastic day for families and we always aim to bring lots of visitors into Southport town centre, which will hopefully benefit lots of local outlets nearby. 

“We are also keen to hear from anyone who would like to be volunteer stewards for us. 

“Dogs Direct UK is staging its Southport Summer Dog Festival at Victoria Park on the same day and hopefully people will be out enjoying both events, on what will be a great weekend for Southport.” 

Armed Forces Day takes place on the last weekend each June.

It is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving personnel to service families, veterans and cadets.

The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and its interests. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.

For more details please visit the website.

READ MORE: LIVERPOOL ENCOURAGED TO TAKE PART IN ‘ACTS OF KINDNESS’ TO CELEBRATE MANDELA DAY

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