WHAT A WEEKEND!!!
After 2 years without an event, the Armed Forces Weekend was back with a bang as the regions Number One Integrated Community Event.
A MASSIVE THANK-YOU to you the general public for your outstanding support in your tens of thousands over the weekend. We have been told by those who know that we may have exceeded the massive numbers from the National Event in 2016.
The aim of our Armed Forces Weekend is for the people of North East Lincolnshire and the general public to demonstrate their thanks to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces for continuing to provide the defence of the nation, worldwide humanitarian aid and keeping sea-lanes and air-space open.
A year of hard work by the volunteers from the Armed Forces Major Events Team (AFMET), support from key sponsors, and most importantly of all, the general public which resulted in this major free event returning to Cleethorpes and North East Lincolnshire in style. This event as always, is a massive boost to the local economy with huge economic benefits to the region and guarantee repeat visitor numbers.
The start-up was the return of the Carnival Parade on Friday night with over 25 floats along the seafront including an amazing turnout from local groups and performing arts organisations. This returning event proved to be as popular as it was in its heyday and justified the belief that it was right to bring it back as a major event in the resort. This can now be built on for future years with an increased level of engagement and anyone wanting to help can contact AFMET at The Knoll.
Armed Forces Day itself was celebrated in Cleethorpes again on 25 June this year as the main day within the largest, free event on the east coast!
In a slight change to the normal timetable, the main parade of vehicles and serving military personnel, armed forces veterans and cadet forces marched off at 12 noon.
A mounted display troop of 16th Lancers were involved this year and performed displays on the bowling green on Alexandra Road and led the parade in their scarlet uniforms.
Meanwhile, up in the air, on both Saturday and Sunday at this year’s Armed Forces weekend in Cleethorpes we saw some fantastic flying displays. The loud Typhoon display team followed by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. These were followed by flying displays from a 1930s Miles Gemini and the WW2 P51 Mustang and the Starlings Aerobatic Team. The air displays finished with the fantastic Red Arrows Display.
Entertainment filled the stage and immediate area once more throughout the day, with the Grimsby Sea Cadet Band performing a ‘Beat the Retreat Ceremony’ in front of the Memorial Gate.
Following this was the Armed Forces Thankyou Concert with ‘The Moggies’, ‘Hudson Lewis’ and ‘Lost by Eleven’ which was generously sponsored by the Grimsby & Cleethorpes branches of The Royal Naval Association and Royal Air Forces Association.
The crowds thoroughly enjoyed the bands, joining in the singing and showing some unusual dance routines.
The evening finale was a spectacular 20-minute firework display to music with the crowds again joining in the patriotic singing.
Please remember that the planning and unpaid organisation for the whole weekend is carried out by a core team of about 8 VOLUNTEERS from the Armed Forces Major Events Team (AFMET) with support from some key sponsors and organisations.
A special thank-you has to go out to The Kingsway Hotel for their support and generosity towards the Military Teams as this is what the weekend is all about and also Peter Craig and his team from the Grimsby Telegraph for excellent accurate reporting both leading up to and during the event.
Thanks also to the Leader of NELC Council and the Chief Executive for their advice and support prior to and during the event and the NELC Comms Team for taking care of social media over the weekend.
This event would not and could not happen or be a success without our sponsors, supporters and visiting traders whose donations and fees pay for the flying displays, bands and addition extensive expenses which make the Armed Forces Weekend the success it is.
But finally, the Armed Forces Major Events Team (AFMET) would like once again, to thank the general public for demonstrating their continuing support for our armed forces and the weekends events which make it worthwhile for the team to continue their efforts.
We hope to see you all again for next years Armed Forces Weekend which dates are yet to be confirmed.
The AFMET Team