A weekend of live local music and entertainment on two stages, stilt walkers, a carousel, reading and art workshops, and a giant video panel have been announced as Falmouth gears up for the Armed Forces Day national event over the weekend of June 24-25, 2023. 

The national event, organised by Cornwall Council alongside the armed forces and supported by Falmouth Town Council, also includes the pageantry of a tri-service parade, fly-pasts and a two-and-a-half-hour aerial display of aerobatics and parachuting, and an open air concert for the military with a show-stopping firework display over Falmouth harbour. 

The week-long series of lead-in events begins on Monday as Cornwall leads the whole UK in raising the Armed Forces Day flags. 

Following two months of flag relay events in Cornish towns and military bases countywide, Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth hosts a ceremony that will see a flagpole salute, singing, and aircraft fly-pasts. 

Youth organisation the ‘Little Troopers’ – children with one or both parents in military service – will have the honour of carrying the flag. The brief ceremony starts at 9.40am. 

Then on Wednesday, June 21 National Reserves Day will be celebrated, with a military ceremony at Truro Barracks from 11am, and a range of Reserves-themed activities in Falmouth’s Events Square all day from 10am to 4pm. 

These will include tri-service recruitment vans, a demonstration field hospital with battlefield ambulance – and a chance to test your hand eye co-ordination, reactions and stamina on a Batak machine as used by sportsmen and women. 

On Friday, June 23, schoolchildren and college students have been invited to their own private preview of the Military Village, arranged tours of the frigate HMS Richmond in the docks, STEM engineering challenges, and futuristic robotics. 

These are at Grove Place car park, the National Maritime Museum car park and the Princess Pavilion – but are open to pupils, students and teaching staff only by previous arrangement. 

People can tour HMS Richmond on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Plymouth-based frigate undertakes missions around the globe and can escort and protect aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – the fleet flagship of the Royal Navy – as anti-submarine support. 

Then music will fill the air all weekend from Friday, June 23, to Sunday, June 25, with a rolling programme of toe-tapping acts on two stages – one in Church Street car park adjacent to the marquee, charity stands and displays, and the other in Events Square, which will feature a giant video panel. 

A specially-recorded song by one of Cornwall’s most successful musical exports, the Fisherman’s Friends, who will be playing at Glastonbury over Armed Forces Weekend, will be shown on the screen. 

Among the local bands and acts on stage on the Friday, will be (in Church Street) This Way Up, Our Atlantic Roots, C-Bone and The Stowes Duo, and (in Events Square) Joe Francis, True Foxes, Will Keating & John Dowling, Our Atlantic Roots, Treverva Male Voice Choir and Barretts Privateers.

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

On Sunday, in Church Street car park there will be musical entertainment on stage from Source FM with a bar area, and in Events Square you can listen to the Rum and Shrub Shanty Band, Tom Cary and Off the Hook. 

Saturday and Sunday also see a range of family entertainment on The Moorprovided by Falmouth Town Council, including an Interactive Space Dome, STEM board games, street performers, stilt walkers and a market. 

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for the economy Louis Gardner said: “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. So, whether you are aiming to be with us just for that gigantic Saturday, June 24, with all its pomp and pageantry, or want to sample the gentler ceremonies on offer through the week, you can be sure to feel part of something very special indeed. 

“Something on stage, screen or speakers is bound to entertain you, your family and your friends. Have an unforgettable time.”