NEXT year’s Armed Forces Day is set to be “bigger and better” than ever before, organisers have said.
The celebrations will take place on June 25, and plans for the “huge” event are already under way.
This year’s Armed Force’s Day attracted 24,000, and leaders hope even more will turn out, with a free wrestling show to be held at the Guild Hall.
Following the success of this year’s PCW Tribute to the Troops wrestling show, held at the Flag Market, it is going to be “taken up a notch” and moved to the Guild Hall, where visitors will have to pay a £2 booking fee only.
A free concert is due to be held outdoors, “like the Christmas lights switch-on but in the summer”, and organisers are looking to have a “more formal” civic reception for the military dignitaries.
Coun Gale said: “We are really proud of the people of Preston and how they come out to support our brave fighting men and women.
“You have to remember we have a barracks on our doorstep with thousands of soldiers, we want to put on a day for them and their families and bring the people together.”
The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is the principal sponsor of the event, during its centenary year.
Speaking about the support from the Chamber, Coun Gale said: “They have been incredibly supportive over the last two years and this year they have gone above and beyond, enabling us to put on a fantastic day for not only the people of Preston, but also the armed forces who live here.”
Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s an honour and a privilege for us to be involved with Armed Forces Day in any way that we can.
“The Chamber has a long history of association with the Armed Forces so, particularly during our centenary year, it is only apt to provide this level of support.
“The Armed Forces have always done a vital job in protecting our country and continue to do so.
“It’s only right that we offer our gratitude to them for everything they do on our behalf without forgetting, of course, the incredible support they receive from their families.”