THE first plans for Salisbury’s National Armed Forces Day weekend were revealed during a briefing to the city council last night - including air shows, a public party and the potential for a royal visit.

Lieutenant Colonel Guy Benson, chief of staff at Wiltshire Council, is leading plans for the three-day event at the end of June this year.

Addressing councillors, he said: “Part of my briefing was to make this ‘the most spectacular Armed Forces Day in the event’s history.’”

In the run-up to the main weekend, a number of launch events will be held to raise awareness, including a flag raising ceremony for councils and businesses on June 24, and a celebration of Reserves Day on June 26, as well as a walking event run by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

The main festivities will kick off on Friday, June 28, at Hudson’s Field. School children will be invited to visit a ‘military village’ in situ on the field to learn more about the armed forces, and it will open to the public that evening for a barbecue and live music.

Lt Col Benson said he was expecting 40,000 people to turn up for the event.

The following day (Saturday) the events will start in the city centre with a military procession and parade, and Lt Col Benson said he had asked for royal visitors to attend.

There will also be a fly-past by the Red Arrows, with final times to be confirmed, followed by more public events at Hudson's Field in the evening including fireworks, live music and further military displays.

Sunday will be a more reflective period, with a focus on veterans and younger people.

Lt Col Benson said: "It's going to be big, it's going to be spectacular, and it's going to involve ordinary people of Wiltshire and Salisbury."

The city councillors welcomed the plans and offered their full support for the event.