A Weekend of Entertainment, Military Spectacle, and Local Musical Talent to Celebrate Armed Forces Day

Falmouth is gearing up to host an exciting weekend of live local music, entertainment, and festivities as part of the national Armed Forces Day event taking place on June 24-25, 2023. Organized by Cornwall Council in collaboration with the Armed Forces and supported by Falmouth Town Council, this event promises a range of attractions, including two stages featuring performances from talented musicians, stilt walkers, a carousel, reading and art workshops, and a giant video panel.

The highlight of the weekend will be the pageantry of a tri-service parade, mesmerizing fly-pasts, and an awe-inspiring two-and-a-half-hour aerial display showcasing aerobatics and parachuting. Additionally, an open-air concert exclusively for the military will take place, culminating in a breathtaking firework display over Falmouth harbour.

To kick-start the celebrations, Cornwall will proudly raise the Armed Forces Day flags on Monday, June 19, leading the entire UK in this symbolic gesture. Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth will host a ceremony featuring a flagpole salute, uplifting songs, and aircraft fly-pasts. The honor of carrying the flag will be bestowed upon the ‘Little Troopers,’ a youth organization comprising children with one or both parents serving in the military. The brief ceremony will commence at 9:40 am.

On Wednesday, June 21, National Reserves Day will be celebrated with a military ceremony at Truro Barracks starting at 11 am. Throughout the day, Falmouth’s Events Square will offer an array of Reserves-themed activities from 10 am to 4 pm. Attendees can explore tri-service recruitment vans, witness a demonstration field hospital with a battlefield ambulance, and test their hand-eye coordination, reactions, and stamina on a Batak machine—famously used by athletes.

Friday, June 23, will see schoolchildren and college students invited to a private preview of the Military Village. They will have the opportunity to embark on guided tours of the Frigate HMS Richmond docked in the harbor, engage in STEM engineering challenges, and explore futuristic robotics. These activities will take place at Grove Place car park, the National Maritime Museum car park, and the Princess Pavilion, exclusively for students and teaching staff with prior arrangements.

During the weekend, families can visit and tour HMS Richmond, a Frigate based in Plymouth that undertakes global missions and provides anti-submarine support for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth. Tickets for the ship tour can be booked online through the provided link.

Music will fill the air throughout the weekend, starting from Friday, June 23, until Sunday, June 25. Two stages—one located in Church Street car park near the marquee and charity stands, and the other in Events Square, featuring a giant video panel—will host a lineup of toe-tapping acts. Notably, the renowned Fisherman’s Friends, one of Cornwall’s most successful musical exports, have specially recorded a song for this occasion and will be performing at Glastonbury over the Armed Forces weekend.

Local bands and acts will grace the stage on Friday, June 23, including This Way Up, Our Atlantic Roots, C-Bone and The Stowes Duo in Church Street, and Joe Francis, True Foxes, Will Keating & John Dowling, Our Atlantic Roots, Treverva Male Voice Choir, and Barretts Privateers in Events Square. Book tickets online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hms-richmond-ship-tour-tickets-608447893027

Saturday, June 24, will feature performances by Toby Webb, Barney Kenny, Jenna Witts, Children’s Choir, and Holly Turton in Church Street, and Culdrose Military Wives Choir, Polkadots, the Royal Marines Combat Display, Sea Cadets Band, Tom Cary, and the Motown Pirates in Events Square.

On Sunday, June 25, Source FM will provide musical entertainment on stage in Church Street car park, accompanied by a bar area, while the Rum and Shrub Shanty Band, Tom Cary, and Off the Hook will delight the audience in Events Square.

The Moor, organized by Falmouth Town Council, will host a range of family entertainment, including an Interactive Space Dome, STEM board games, street performers, stilt walkers, and a market on both Saturday and Sunday.

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Economy, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming festivities, stating, “Falmouth town knows how to host a great party, and we are aiming for a high feelgood factor across all these Armed Forces event days. Whether you choose to join us on the grand Saturday, June 24, with its pomp and pageantry, or prefer to partake in the gentler ceremonies throughout the week, you can expect to be part of something truly special. Prepare to be entertained by an array of performances on stage, screen, and speakers. It will be an unforgettable experience for you, your family, and your friends.”

The full events line-up can be found on the Armed Forces Day website: https://armedforcesday.cornwall.gov.uk/ or follow Cornwall Council on Facebook or Twitter, along with @ArmedForcesDay #Cornwall2023 #SaluteOurForces 

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