The city centre will be a sea of red, white and blue this Sunday as Leeds shows its support for service men and women past, present and future at the annual Armed Forces Day 2024.

Hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, the Leeds Armed Forces Day provides the opportunity to celebrate the courage, dedication and commitment of our serving troops, veterans, cadets and service families with a day of pageantry and family-friendly fun.

The free event takes place on Sunday June 30, 11am to 4pm, with stalls, exhibitions and activities spanning the length of Briggate, including a climbing wall, den-building and an array of street entertainers.

In a change to previous years, the flag-raising event which usually takes place the Saturday before Armed Forces Day will now take place on the day itself, adding to the pomp and ceremony.

The flags will be raised on Victoria Gardens at 10.45am as the national anthem is played, before the traditional big parade – led by the West Yorkshire Police Band and featuring serving armed forces personnel, veterans and cadets – sets off at 11am, marching up to the Headrow and finishing on Briggate for speeches.

Live musical entertainment on the day includes performances by the City of Leeds Pipe Band, the 1940s-themed Daisy Belles and rock covers band Rocky Road.

Leeds bus company First Bus is also offering cadets, veterans and serving personnel free travel throughout the weekend, June 29-30, in celebration of the occasion. The offer will be available to those in uniform, displaying an ID card or wearing medals.

This year’s event is the culmination of a month-long Armed Forces Day Festival, which featured talks, exhibitions and special events to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

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