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More attractions announced for Armed Forces Day event

Organisers of Saturday's free Armed Forces Day event in Southsea have added even more attractions to the programme.

Highlights now also include two cannon-firing displays, a fly-past by an RAF helicopter, and a model of the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier.

The event, co-ordinated by Portsmouth City Council, is from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 24 June, on Castle Field.

Military vehicles will be on show, and other attractions include a flag-raising ceremony, a rifle display and a pop-up D-Day Museum. 

Event sponsor BAE Systems will bring interactive displays about the support it provides to the Royal Navy, including the aircraft carrier model and a photo booth that makes people look like they're on board a Type 45 destroyer.

A major feature of the day will be a veterans' parade at 2pm led by the Rose and Thistle Pipes and Drums band. 

There will also be food stalls, stands and activities for all the family, including children's rides and face-painting. 

Other organisations to be represented include the Association of Wrens, Royal Navy Royal Marines Welfare, the Poppy Appeal, the Royal Naval Reserve, the SSAFA military charity, the Type 42 Association, HMS King Alfred and the Royal Marines Charity. 

The event will be the climax of Armed Forces Week, designed to show support, respect and appreciation for the armed forces – including regulars, reserves, veterans and cadets, as well their families. 

The idea for the event came from Cllr Frank Jonas, the council's armed forces champion, who last week was awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM). 

He said: "As the home of the Royal Navy, this city has a special and very close relationship with our armed forces. Present and past members of the services are a major part of our community, and it's right that we should come together with them and salute their contribution to the nation.

"This will be a great free day out for all the family – a real celebration and a chance to find out more about what it means to serve in the armed forces."

The fly-past, by an RAF Odiham Chinook, will be at around 2.30pm. It is dependent on weather conditions.

There will also be an Armed Forces Day celebration at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Saturday, including military vehicles, family activities and performances from the Polka Dots and the Royal Marines School of Music.

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