Parade and displays on Armed Forces Day

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Ballymena will be one of three Mid & East Antrim venues hosting a community event to commemorate Armed Forces Day.

Demonstrations and displays are being organised in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne as Mid & East Antrim hosts Northern Ireland’s official Armed Forces Day events.

With a distinctly naval theme, Carrickfergus will host the first of three events on Friday, June 19, in the Harbour car park.

A ‘Beating of the Retreat’ will feature the renowned Band of the Royal Marines and two Royal Navy vessels will play their part in a high-performance capability demonstration by the Marines.

This will be an exciting precursor to the main event which will be held in Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday, June 20.

A parade through Ballymena Town Centre will begin at 11am with the main event beginning in the showgrounds at 12 noon.

The Parade will step off from Castle Street and proceed via Mill Street, Wellington Street, Broughshane Street and onward to the showgrounds via Warden Street.

Spectators can expect a vast array of static and interactive military exhibits.

There will also be a thrilling parachute display and the complex will host a wide range of family entertainment suitable for all ages.

Admission to both events is free of charge.

On Sunday 21 June, a reflective church service will be held in First Larne Presbyterian Church at 3.30pm, as a fitting tribute to those serving personnel as well as to veterans and cadets of the tri-services.

Mayor Billy Ashe said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough is thrilled to be hosting Northern Ireland’s official Armed Forces Day events.

“Considering the close links that the borough has with the military and given both Ballymena’s and Carrickfergus’ historical connections, it is entirely fitting that the events are taking place in the borough. These events demonstrate the esteeem in which the forces are held.””