Celebrate Armed Forces Day at Pontefract Park

24/06/2019, PR-9098

Armed Forces Day
Armed Forces Day

​Armed Forces Day celebrations are coming back to Pontefract Park this year and the event is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before.

Wakefield Council is marking the outstanding contribution that our Armed Forces make to the country with a day of fun and activities on Saturday 6 July, 10am until 4pm.

The celebrations will include a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Dakota flypast, military displays including freefall parachuting from Wings display team, vintage military vehicles and aircraft cockpits. There will also be an appearance by Ben Parkinson MBE,  the paratrooper, who lost both legs in combat in Afghanistan and who carried the Olympic flame at the 2012 London Olympics.

Cllr Peter Box CBE
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council

​Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "Please join us for this fantastic activity-packed day to celebrate our Armed Forces. It is always a wonderful occasion which brings people together to show their appreciation to those who have fought to protect our country and those still serving."

Cllr Sandra Pickin, Wakefield Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "This is a great time for us all to show our support and gratitude for those who have served or are currently serving in the forces, and their families. There is so much to enjoy, so please come down and join in the fun." 

Local armed forces groups, emergency services, veterans support groups and community groups will be holding stalls or demonstrations at the event, alongside a plentiful host of food, drink and craft stalls. Entertainment will include performances by local dance, gymnastic, majorettes, karate and cheerleading groups, the Yorkshire Military Band and the West Yorkshire Police Dog Trials.

For younger visitors the event will offer plenty including a play area with climbing wall, birds of prey and a mini beast zoo courtesy of Owls Adventure and Diggerland Yorkshire will be bringing along mini diggers and a JCB.

The event is being held at Pontefract Racecourse, which is in Pontefract Park, as it played an important role in World War One, when it was used as an airfield. Like so many racecourses, Pontefract was a ready-made airfield and the BE2c aircraft of 33 Squadron and 76 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps used the park as a landing ground from 1916 to 1918.

Entry to the event and on-site parking is free. For more information visit the Armed Forces Day Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WakefieldArmedForcesDay or follow the event hashtag #WakefieldAFD on social media.

The event is part of Pontefract's 'big weekend' with Picnic and Play also taking part at Pontefract Castle on Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Visitors can travel between the two events using a free shuttlebus running on the day. Pontefract Liquorice Festival is also taking place on Sunday 7 July in the town centre.