Sea Bangor Festival hosts Northern Ireland Armed Forces Day

Monday 19th June 2017

Bangor to host Northern Ireland Armed Forces Day - a prestigious regional showcase of all things military.

Bangor to host Northern Ireland Armed Forces Day - a prestigious regional showcase of all things military

Visitors to Bangor can experience a sensational spitfire display, view a Jetlev flyer and specialised military vehicles up close, and watch as the army go head-to-head in a tug-of-war when Northern Ireland Armed Forces Day comes to the seaside town in June.

Ards and North Down Borough Council will host the national event, which is supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, on Saturday 24 June 2017. It will give visitors an insight into the work of the armed services - army, navy and air force - and also celebrate and honour those who serve.

The event will commence at 10:50 am with the official regional Armed Forces Day military parade through Bangor town centre, incorporating a special Drumhead Service and Flag Raising. UTV presenter, Frank Mitchell, will act as compere on the day and will talk visitors through the programme which will include musical performances from the Band of the Royal Irish, Band of the Irish Guards and the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards.  The event will close in style with a Beating Retreat in the McKee Clock Arena.  The programme will remember those that have served, and that continue to serve, in the military.

Northern Ireland Armed Forces Day will be celebrated on the same weekend as the Council’s popular maritime Sea Bangor Festival that celebrates all things nautical.  Visitors to the town will be able to enjoy a programme of military activity that wouldn’t normally be seen by the public, along with musical performances, cookery demonstrations, food stalls and street theatre. Sister Ships Lady Avenel and La Malouine will sit on Eisenhower Pier alongside a naval P2000.

The senior military officer in Northern Ireland, Brigadier Andrew Roe of 38(Irish) Brigade, said: “The Armed Services not only have a long history across Ards and North Down but today enjoy huge support for regulars, reservists, veterans and families with enormous engagement across the sea, army, air and combined cadets.

We look at the support for reservists in Bangor for the combat engineers, in Newtownards for the artillery, in Holywood for the UK’s only reserves fuel supply regiment as well as the Royal Marines Reserve.  Holywood is also home currently for 1 Scots who have not only undertaken arduous operational and training commitments around the world but also humanitarian intervention in the likes of Sierra Leone. And this is reflected across the military family in Northern Ireland with those serving today and those who have served.  Yes, the thread of support and commitment is deep - and Armed Forces Day in Bangor 2017 is our chance to be with families and friends for what promises to be a memorable occasion.”

The free event takes place on Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June, 10am - 6pm at Bangor Seafront.