Thousands of people are expected to descend on Coleraine as Armed Forces Day meets Rhythm of the Bann on Saturday 23rd June.
The full day of free entertainment begins from 11am culminating in an evening performance from the Band of the Royal Marines.
It’s the first time that Coleraine has hosted the regional Armed Forces Day showcase, which is expected to attract a huge number of military personnel, their families, friends and supporters.
The annual event, compered by newsreader Paul Clark, will open with a celebratory parade through the town centre at 11am featuring service members, veterans, cadets, military bands and the Royal British Legion. It will follow a route from Coleraine Leisure Centre before arriving at the Diamond for a Drumhead Service at 11.30am.
The Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Trevor Clarke, is looking forward to a memorable day.
He said: “I would like to encourage members of the public to show their appreciation for our Armed Forces by supporting this wonderful occasion. It promises to be a very exciting day for Coleraine as we remember, reflect and celebrate the services’ ongoing commitment.”
The first gun salute of the day will ring out at noon when one round will signal the start of a packed afternoon of activities in Christie Park, on the River Bann and throughout the town centre.
From 11am, children with additional needs can enjoy a ‘quiet hour’ in Christie Park with soft play and Jumping Clay.
What is happening on the day?
11am Parade from Coleraine Leisure Centre to the town centre
11am Quiet hour in Christie Park for children with additional needs
11.30am Drumhead Service in the Diamond
Noon March to Christie Park
Noon First gun salute of the day (one round)
Noon – 5pm Activities and live entertainment in Christie Park
Acts include The Leading Ladies, Blue Belles and Evergreen Scottish Country Dancers, Grove Pipe Band, Hampsey Harp School, JML School of Irish Dance, Espresso Jazz, the Forces Sweetheart Kirsten Orsborn and Owen Mac.
The Challenger 2 tank will be located in Christie Park car-park throughout the day
Royal Navy vessel P2000 on the River Bann with on-board access.
12.30pm – 1pm Grove Pipe Band performance Kingsgate Street.
1pm – 4pm Wakeboarding and jet ski showcase on the River Bann
1.30pm – 2.45pm Military Band performances outside Coleraine Town Hall
Band of the Royal Irish performance (1.30pm – 1.45pm)
Pipes and Drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards (1.50pm – 2.05pm)
2pm Gun salute (three rounds)
Drums and Pipes of the First Irish Guards (2.10pm – 2.25pm)
152 Pipes and Drums (2.30pm – 2.45pm)
2.45pm – 2.15pm Silver Stars Parachute Display Team over River Bann
4pm Gun salute (four rounds)
4.15pm Band of the Royal Marines on parade from Coleraine Leisure Centre to town centre
4.30pm Beating Retreat
5pm Rhythm of the Bann music and dance festival
The organisers are advising the public not to forget to bring your seats for a three hour programme of spectacular live music and dance culminating in a magnificent performance from the Band of the Royal Marines, regarded as the world’s most prestigious military music organisation.
The event will open with a set from singing sensations the Leading Ladies Trio followed by Forces Sweetheart Kirsten Orsborn.
Loughguile School of Irish Dance, winners of the 2017 World Folk Dance Championships, promise a spell-binding performance before Causeway Traditional Band take to the stage with a medley of instruments and a toe-tapping repertoire.
The evening will come to a spectacular close with the Band of the Royal Marines.
A free Park and Ride facility will operate from Rugby Avenue Playing Fields, from 8am – 9pm. Drop off/pick up points are located on Strand Road, Railway Road (except during Parade time) and Lodge Road.
Additional disabled parking will be available in the Mall Car Park and at Rugby Avenue.