Media release - issued 18 Jun 2021

Rushmoor Borough Council to mark Armed Forces Day

Aldershot's night sky will light up on Saturday 26 June in celebration of Armed Forces Day as Rushmoor Borough Council projects six beacons of light across Aldershot, alongside outdoor theatre performances in Princes Gardens during the day.

Although the council is unable to hold a large parade and public event this year due to the pandemic, the community is being invited to show its support for the troops by joining in with some small-scale activities.

Free outdoor theatre performances will take place at midday, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4.30pm in Princes Gardens. Pop-up Pedestal explores the story of Florence Nightingale who was in the first group of nurses to work on the front line during the Crimean War.

The audience can watch as the statue of Florence comes to life and is freed from her position on the pedestal, then join in as 'the lady with the lamp' explores who might deserve a position on the pedestal in 2021. This is a relaxed show with storytelling, games and original songs suitable for age 14+ (but younger children are welcome). The performances are free, but tickets must be booked in advance on our Armed Forces Day web page.

From 9.30pm, the council will be bringing the celebrations to local homes, with six beacons of light sweeping across the sky. The lights will be based around the heart of the town, so that residents across Aldershot have the chance to celebrate Armed Forces Day from their homes and gardens.  

Councillor Marina Munro, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy at Rushmoor Borough Council, said: "The beacons of light are an opportunity for neighbours to come out to their doorsteps or meet up in gardens and share a moment together, while commemorating our Armed Forces and marking the day safely. We hope that everyone will raise a glass and wave a flag to celebrate our forces, while keeping an eye to the skies at 9.30pm."

Councillor Jacqui Vosper, Cabinet Champion for the Military at Rushmoor Borough Council, added: "We are very proud of Aldershot's military connections as the home of the British Army and although it is still not possible for us to join together in person this year, we hope that residents join with us to thank our armed forces."

More than 4,300 local school pupils have also been taking part in a large-scale arts project to learn more about the armed forces and thank the troops. Children from 20 schools have been creating work that will come together in a colourful large-scale installation exploring the different skills needed to make the Army a success. The project has been funded by Rushmoor Borough Council and developed in partnership with Aldershot Garrison and The Artroom.

The Armed Forces Day flag will also be flying at the council offices in Farnborough and Princes Gardens in Aldershot during the build-up to Armed Forces Day.

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