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Stirling leads Armed Forces Day celebrations across UK Stirling leads Armed Forces Day celebrations across UK
(about 7 hours later)
Armed Forces Day celebrations across the country are set to be led from Stirling.Armed Forces Day celebrations across the country are set to be led from Stirling.
Hundreds of veterans, serving personnel and cadets are to join the Princess Royal and other dignitaries for the day of military demonstrations and events.Hundreds of veterans, serving personnel and cadets are to join the Princess Royal and other dignitaries for the day of military demonstrations and events.
A huge parade of services personnel - young and old - is to kick off the proceedings, marching from Stirling Castle to the events grounds nearby.A huge parade of services personnel - young and old - is to kick off the proceedings, marching from Stirling Castle to the events grounds nearby.
A Red Arrows display is among a packed timetable of entertainment on show.A Red Arrows display is among a packed timetable of entertainment on show.
Representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force are all taking part in the event, which is the centrepiece of celebrations going on all over the country.Representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force are all taking part in the event, which is the centrepiece of celebrations going on all over the country.
A group of veterans on motorcycles will lead the 1000-strong parade from the castle at 11:30.A group of veterans on motorcycles will lead the 1000-strong parade from the castle at 11:30.
They will head through the Old Town and be joined by cadets and serving personnel at the Albert Halls, before making their way to the events ground at the Royal Parklands.They will head through the Old Town and be joined by cadets and serving personnel at the Albert Halls, before making their way to the events ground at the Royal Parklands.
Tanks and military vehicles will be on display throughout the day, with demonstrations by Sea King, Apache and Puma helicopters.Tanks and military vehicles will be on display throughout the day, with demonstrations by Sea King, Apache and Puma helicopters.
Plane enthusiasts will get to see the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane in flight, along with more modern Typhoon and Tornado jets, and a demonstration by the Red Arrows stunt team is scheduled to close the event.Plane enthusiasts will get to see the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane in flight, along with more modern Typhoon and Tornado jets, and a demonstration by the Red Arrows stunt team is scheduled to close the event.
Other displays include Royal Marines fast-roping from helicopters, pipe bands, a parachute display by the Army's Red Devils, an artillery gun salute and troops staging a ground assault complete with casualty evacuations.Other displays include Royal Marines fast-roping from helicopters, pipe bands, a parachute display by the Army's Red Devils, an artillery gun salute and troops staging a ground assault complete with casualty evacuations.
The event comes on the same day First Minister Alex Salmond appointed Scotland's first Veterans Commissioner to provide greater support for services personnel.
Organisers estimate the event will earn about £1m for the local economy, while boosting Stirling's reputation as a tourist destination.Organisers estimate the event will earn about £1m for the local economy, while boosting Stirling's reputation as a tourist destination.
'Time to shine''Time to shine'
Armed Forces Day is part of Stirling's "Big Weekend", which includes the Bannockburn Live battle re-enactment weekend, the Pipefest pipe band competition, and a night of open-air performances, entertainment and street art at Stirling's Big Night Out.Armed Forces Day is part of Stirling's "Big Weekend", which includes the Bannockburn Live battle re-enactment weekend, the Pipefest pipe band competition, and a night of open-air performances, entertainment and street art at Stirling's Big Night Out.
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said thousands of people were expected to attend the events.VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said thousands of people were expected to attend the events.
He said: "The teams for Pipefest, Armed Forces Day and Bannockburn Live are working hard to ensure Stirling's Big Weekend is one to remember.He said: "The teams for Pipefest, Armed Forces Day and Bannockburn Live are working hard to ensure Stirling's Big Weekend is one to remember.
"Never before has this stunning city hosted as many tourists from all over the world and it really is Stirling's time to shine, showcasing the attractions, landscapes and history of this amazing area.""Never before has this stunning city hosted as many tourists from all over the world and it really is Stirling's time to shine, showcasing the attractions, landscapes and history of this amazing area."