WEARSIDERS will band together across three days to show support for our forces personnel.
To mark Armed Forces Day on June 28, the Seaburn recreational ground will host a number of events including a rousing opening ceremony, musical entertainment from military bands, stalls and a military vehicle display.
The event is being organised by Paul Jasper, who served 23 years in the Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets, and will be one of the biggest events of its kind in the country.
Paul said: “Ninety per cent of Armed Forces Day celebrations last just one day, but we are marking the event across a whole weekend. This year is particularly poignant as it marks seventy years since the D Day Landings and 100 years since the outbreak of World War I.
“I started organising this event in Sunderland five years ago because I felt Sunderland should recognise its Armed Forces.
“It’s not just an event for the Armed Forces and their families, it’s for the general public to celebrate their Armed Forces, who we pay taxes for.”
The festivities will run from June 27 to 29 and will begin on the Friday from 6.30pm with Houghton Pipe Band.
Saturday will be the main military day and it will feature an opening parade from 1pm along the seafront and into the recreation ground, which will host a marquee, arena and stalls.
Youngsters can take part in a five-a-side tournament, dress like a Roman gladiator, and enjoy a dog display, fairground and more.
Paul said: “On the Saturday night we’ll be having a Last Night of the Proms-style concert with the Esh Winning Band and Castletown Primary School Choir, as well as a soprano and tenor.”
Re-enactment teams and representatives from the military will also be on hand to give the public an insight into forces life. Admission will be a contribution on the gate. The Saturday night concert costs £2.