It has been calculated that about 13,500 people attended the event, centred around Market Place.Organised by Mansfield Business Improvement District, in partnership with a number of organisations and with support from Mansfield Council, Sunday’s event was billed as ‘a great family day out’ and an ‘opportunity for local people to show their appreciation of servicemen and women, past and present’.
There was also additional match funding provided by the Ministry of Defence and four flypasts by a Lancaster bomber.
The day started at 10.15am with Mansfield District Corps of Drums leading a parade with representation from all the Armed Forces, standard bearers and associated charities from the Buttercross, on West Gate, to Market Place.
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Organisations supporting the day included Royal Navy Reserves, HMS Sherwood, Royal Navy Association, Grenadier Guards, Mansfield Sea Cadets, 384 Air cadets, Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion, North Notts & Mansfield District Veterans Support Group and Help for Heroes.
Also in attendance were the Royal British Legion Riders with 10 motorcycles at the event, and two fire engines.
Addressing the crowds, Jay Rowlinson, BID chief executive officer and a former British Army major, said: “As you can tell I am ex-military myself, spent 33 years in the Army and been out three years and I got asked to say a few words today.
“I thought what I’m going to talk about is freedom because today is Armed Forces Day and I think all of us in this country take freedom just a little bit for granted don't we?”
He said he was thinking about the situation in Ukraine and said one of the reasons ‘we are free’ is the dedication of the Armed Forces and the fact many people, often young people, are talented and fighting for the country.
The event was deemed as a success, with many visitors saying what a great day it was.
Coun Andre Camilleri, Nottinghamshire Council member for Mansfield South, said: “Great morning out at Mansfield’s own Armed Forces Day. A big thank must you goes out to Mansfield BID for organising this fabulous event to celebrate our own brilliant servicemen and women.”
Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people out in Market Place celebrating our servicemen and women, saying thank you and helping to raise funds for the causes they support.
“The council was proud to work alongside the BID team to welcome visitors to the event in what was a tremendously successful day.
“The crowds really enjoyed the entertainment which captured the nostalgia of Armed Forces Day.
“Thank you to everyone who turned out, even in the unscheduled rain, and waited to see the prestigious flyby at about 4pm, what a wow factor for all of us.“We look forward to future successes with our town centre colleagues and working together to make Mansfield town centre vibrant and welcoming.”