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Tanks and choppers among highlights of Aldershot Military Festival open day

Face painting, sports demonstrations and guided tours set to keep families entertained during free day showcasing Aldershot's military heritage

Troops at Mons Barracks in Aldershot

Tanks, motorbikes, bands and boxing are among a plethora of thrills for visitors to Aldershot Military Festival's Open Day on Saturday June 28.

The day is the highlight of the week-long celebration of all things military and features displays, performances and activities to keep everyone from die-hard military fans to tank-crazy kids entertained.

Festivities take place at the Aldershot Garrison in Queens Avenue and run from 10am until 6pm, and the show is open to everyone and free to attend.

Simon Welsh, from the Ministry of Defence, said fingers were crossed for fine weather that weekend.

He said: "It is a full family event. We have got a whole selection of military units there from Aldershot and units from the surrounding area.

"There will be lots of army vehicles.

"It is a free day and the chance to come and see army on Armed Forces Day.

"It is very much a family-oriented day, children can get their faces painted with camouflage and eat an ice cream and enjoy the weather and meet the soldiers."

Bomb disposal unit

A highlight, said Mr Welsh, would be the Fox lines guided tour of the Army School of Physical Training area, which would look at how the training instructors themselves are trained and the gruelling obstacle courses used by the oldest military unit in the town.

The action will take place across several themed 'zones' as well as performances in the main arena throughout the day.

In Army Zone 1, visitors can get a close look at various military vehicles, plus have look at the physical training courses used by officers.

Army Zone 2 features the army heritage tent, First World War re-enactors, the army cadet force, the First Battalion Irish Guards, First Battalion Grenadier Guards Houshold Division, 29 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Group and several other units, including the 10 Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.

Seventeen different sports and activities regularly played by the military will also be on demonstration in the Army Sports area, with the chance to try some of them out.

Offerings include hockey, football, rowing, martial arts, basketball, pentathlon, judo, fencing, gliding, powerlifting, wheelchair racing, boxing, ice hockey, cricket and displays from Aldershot Town FC, Farnborough Volleyball, Great British Tennis Weekend, Army Tennis Centre and Army Water Polo.

Motorcycle display at past Aldershot Army Show
Motorcycle display at past Aldershot Army Show

A rugby sevens tournament will be among the highlights in the main arena, alongside demonstrations of skill by the IMPS Motorcycle Display Team, a team skydive, footguards display, the Band of the Welsh Guards, 4 Armoured Medical Regiment and much more.

A Puma helicopter will be on display in the Air Zone, along with the Air Cadets, Kestrel Flying club from RAF Odiham, TAG Archery and 413 Aldershot Squadron ATC.

Trade stalls will be spread across the site, including a sports and shopping zone and picnic-friendly food courts.

Transport around the grounds is provided via the land train.

Aldershot Military Museum is offering free entry during the open day, with family activities and the Lost World Zoo exhibition.

There will also be a visit from the Arts & Museum Service’s Thornycroft Type J Lorry which was used during First World War.

Parking for the event is on Queens Parade, with overflow car parks a short walk away.

 

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