Arbroath is set to enjoy a breath-taking display from the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows Display Team during a special ‘Festival of Heroes Specsavers Spectacular’ planned for the town.
Celebrating the armed forces and emergency services
The event, which will be steeped in history, has been organised to celebrate the armed forces and emergency services and aims to bring the community together for a spectacular tribute to its heroes and instil a sense of pride in the town.
Organised by a dedicated team of local volunteers, the festival will open with the popular Armed Forces and Emergency Services parade, which has taken place since 2012. This year’s parade is bigger than previous years and will feature a mix of active and retired armed forces and emergency services personnel and civilians.
The 2012 parade marked the 70th anniversary of a contribution the people of Arbroath made to World War II, including a £5,000 donation to the government’s war effort in 1942 which was used to purchase a Spitfire dubbed ‘Red Lichtie’. This tradition has evolved over the years, with the parade celebrating armed forces and emergency services and marking the people of Arbroath’s service in The Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It also marks the vital work the town’s emergency services carries out.
Red Arrows display
Arbroath Festival of Heroes event chairman Jamie Buchan said: ‘The organising committee is committed to creating a truly memorable outdoor gala day-style event to tie in with the existing parade.
‘We are extremely pleased to confirm that the Red Arrows will be performing a display, in one of only three Scottish appearances planned for this year. We’ll also have a presence from various Scottish regiments of the British Army who will impress the crowds with a capability display and are in talks with the Royal Navy.
‘This is shaping up to be a must-see event for all the family. Arbroath is a fantastic town with a rich heritage and history and the challenging economy has affected the number of public events organised to celebrate our town. We want to turn that round and create a festival that is a real celebration for the area which helps to reignite a sense of community spirit.’
The committee has been working tirelessly to raise the funds needed to hold the fun-filled festival and ensure that the event will be free of charge for attendees.
Helping to make the event possible is £13k sponsorship from Specsavers stores across Scotland, with the Arbroath and Dundee stores donating £4k and around 60 others donating a combined £9k.
Jamie – who works as store director of Specsavers in Arbroath and Dundee and chairs the organising committee in his free time, continued: ‘It is very important to the organising committee that the festival is accessible to all in the community, therefore we’ve worked very hard to secure funding to enable us to put on a very memorable and free event.
‘I’m a company director at Specsavers in Arbroath and Dundee and have received incredible support from other Specsavers stores throughout Scotland. I’m immensely proud of the show of friendship and support from my fellow directors in contributing such a fantastic amount to make this event possible.
‘My event committee and I cannot thank them enough for making our jobs that little bit less pressured with this amazing donation. The sponsorship enabled us to book the Red Arrows which will be real highlight of the day.’
Further funds are also being attracted through crowdfunding – local businesses or individuals who would like to make a contribution towards Arbroath’s Festival of Heroes Specsavers Spectacular can visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/arbroathsfestivalofheroes.