Flying the flag on Ayrshire’s big day

THE PUBLIC in South Ayrshire are being asked to fly the flag for the armed forces past and present on Sunday 26 June, in celebration of Armed Forces Day 2011 which will be followed by a fantastic family Big Day at the Beach on the Low Green in Ayr.

South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan, the Council’s Veterans Champion, will welcome guests to a special flag raising ceremony at 1pm in the Place de St Germaine-en-Laye, adjacent to the Esplanade in Ayr. The Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire John Duncan and representatives from various forces will be there to see a blessing take place and the flag raised.

Provost Sloan said: “It is vital members of HM Armed Forces, past and present, know how much we value the contribution that they make by serving their country and Armed Forces Day gives us the chance to do just that.

“As well as honouring our forces with the formal flag raising, our Big Day at the Beach event will be a fun way to celebrate the outstanding way our men and women in the armed forces serve their country. This is all about fun, for them, their families and friends and anyone who wants to come along and show their support.”

Armed Forces Day aims to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in HM Armed Forces. It is an annual opportunity for the nation to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to service families, and from veterans to cadets.

The Big Day at the Beach will start at 1pm and finish at 4pm. For those who want to be energetic, you can join in the outdoor Zumba-thon. There is an entry fee of £5 and you can stay as long as you like, giving you the chance to and dip in and out to suit yourself and Zumba the day away.

If you fancy showing off your strength, why not try the tug of war? All you have to do is get six adults together and enter along with teams from the Armed Forces, Sainsbury’s, Ayr Rugby Club, Bae Systems and others. There is no set entry fee you will however be asked to make a donation to The Soldiers’ (ABF) charity that gives lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families.

The Big Day at the Beach has something for everyone with an A to Z of fun: Assault course; Beat the Goalie; Clanadonia; Displays by Millitary; Emergency Services; Farm Park; Gannet Helicopter; Hoots Owls; Island views; Super Jumpers; Kilted Caricaturist; Lots of bubble runners; Magic Malky; Naval Displays; Outdoor activities; Pipe Bands; Queens Own Regiment; Regimental Museum; Spinal Chord; Tug O War; Unique Seaside location; Variety of food & drink from beer tent and more; Wall – Climbing Wall; Xtra Tall Streetwalkers; Yurt featuring Come and Try It Bushcraft and Zumba Marathon.