Thousands of people are expected to descend on Liverpool’s waterfront this weekend for a pair of major events.
The national Armed Forces Day is being held in the city this year, bringing hundreds of veterans, servicemen and women and the Red Arrows to the River Mersey – as well as the Duke of Wessex.
And the prestigious event takes place at the same time as the International Mersey River Festival along the river side.
Armed Forces Day takes place from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, and includes a gun salute at the Pier Head, a parade of veterans and service personnel from St George’s Hall to the waterfront, and the chance to get up close to helicopters, diving tanks, rigid inflatable boats, tanks, a field hospital and simulators.
A display arena will feature everything Royal Marines unarmed combat display and military marching bands to an Army bridge building demo and a field gun-race. And the Royal Navy’s type-23 frigate, HMS Iron Duke will be docked in the city for the celebrations.
And there will be aerial flypasts by not only the Red Arrows but also the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast (at 1.50pm) and Royal Navy Wildcat (at 4pm).
Meanwhile boat fans will also want to make a beeline for the docks over both Saturday and Sunday for the added bonus of the river festival.
Although the event will not include big music stages this year, favourites like the Tall Ships and the Northern Boat Show will return, along with the British ThunderCat Racing Tour which was a hit in 2016.
Other attractions include fly boarding, jet skiing, international canoe polo, Sea Cadets’ ladder semaphore, family zone activities and, on Sunday at 2pm and 4pm, the popular Yakovlevs with their breath-taking aerial acrobatics.
The International Mersey River Festival runs over both Saturday and Sunday.
And Wirral will also play a role in this year’s festival, with a number of events and activities planned for Woodside and New Brighton including street theatre, balloon artists, pirates, stalls and workshops.