Preparations under way for Sunderland's Armed Forces Weekend
Plans are underway to make this year's Sunderland Armed Forces Weekend bigger and better.
The three-day celebrations at Seaburn Recreation Ground will run from the evening of Friday, June 29, starting with a reunion for veterans and older members of the Wearside community as part of tea party.
It will be followed by a military day, which will launch at 10am with performance by a band, with a march along the seafront by cadet groups at 12.30pm.
The Saturday evening will feature a social event, with admission to a marquee to be set up on the ground and live bands to play, with admission £5.
It will be rounded off on the Sunday with a family fun day and dog show from 9.30am.
Paul Jasper, one of the event’s organisers who spent 24 years in the Light Infantry and is now a driving instructor, said he hopes the city will host the country’s main event.
He said: “This year will be great, but we’re really looking at getting the main event here in Sunderland next year.
“We’re working together with Sunderland City Council to look at how we can make that happen.
“There is a tremendous amount of support her for our Armed Forces and as tax payers, we would like to see it brought here.
“We are known throughout the world for our proud history of those who have worked to protect our country and they have a huge amount of respect throughout the world and that’s what we want to try and get across through this event.
“It’s very family-orientated, there’s always a great atmosphere and we want to try and bring people together throughout the generations.
“It’s going to be a great weekend.”
Lined up to perform on the Friday evening is Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band, along with soloists John Rowland and Julie Pendleton.
On Saturday, the entertainment will include the Lorraine Crosby Band, The King & I, a 1970s and 1980s Motown act, and a Meatloaf tribute.
Volunteers are still needed to help the weekend run smoothly.
Anyone who would like to get involved can email [email protected]
More information about the celebrations can visit the Sunderland Armed Forces Weekend Facebook page.