FAMILIES are being encouraged to visit Blackpool as the town gears up for its annual Armed Forces Week.
The town is set to spend a whole week celebrating veterans and military personnel in the run up to this year’s Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 30.
And this year’s Armed Forces Week – which runs from Saturday, June 23 to Sunday, July 1 – will be particularly poignant following the recent death of Coun Jim Houldsworth, a stalwart of the celebrations.
Gary Bell, chairman of the Armed Forces Week steering group committee, said: “Jim worked long and hard to ensure Armed Forces Week was a huge success in Blackpool and this year the show really must go on.
“It is Jim’s legacy.
“He would be delighted for this year’s event to be as popular as ever and it is a great opportunity for people to come out and say thank you to the armed forces.
“It really is a great event for everyone involved, whether you are in the Forces or you just want to come and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our servicemen and women. There is so much to see and do and I think people really feel a sense of national pride when they are part of it.”
The week begins when Armed Forces Day flag is raised above Blackpool Town Hall, and activities will include an afternoon tea dance at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, an armed forces’ gala night dinner and a charity taxi-pull by local taxi drivers.
Then, on July 1, the town will celebrate members of the Armed Forces past and present with a parade along the Promenade and a service at the cenotaph.
Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, said: “We are delighted that Blackpool is once again hosting a full week of activities to celebrate the incredible work and dedication of all our armed forces.
“It is particularly poignant for Blackpool this year to continue the legacy of the late Jim Houldsworth. Jim worked tirelessly to ensure veterans and serving military personnel are remembered and celebrated for all that they do.”
Full details of all the activities happening in Blackpool during Armed Forces Week can be found at www.visitblackpool.com/forces.