Bangor splashed out at the weekend with a fun-filled weekend of maritime displays, entertainment, music and parades.
The Sea Bangor maritime festival surpassed the organisers’ expectations.
Alison Stobie, the senior events and marketing officer at North Down Borough Council, said: “It was fantastic, the town was very busy. I would say the festival attracted around 65,000 visitors over the weekend.
“HMS Bangor was moored on the harbour for the duration of the festival and was inundated with visitors, particularly on the Saturday, when it was tallied that 2,000 took the opportunity to look around the ship.
“There was a good turnout for the Armed Forces Day parade on Sunday and we had a programme of music in the evening. Belfast Community Gospel Choir, who were part of the event, were just amazing. They were followed by the interdenominational church service that was well received.”
In a slightly unusual fashion, the parade to celebrate Armed Forces Day through Bangor town centre was led by the Royal British Legion Motorcycling Club of Dungannon, who were raising money towards the Poppy Appeal.
Archie Pollock, branch chairman of the Royal British Legion in Bangor, organised the parade.
He said: “It was an excellent parade with a large turnout. The motorbikes were out in front, followed by HM Royal Marine Scotland and many other regiments.
“A large number of ex service men from the Republic attended, as well as those from the UN Irish Army Association. We also had a contingent from two Mercian regiments who have just completed their tour of Afghanistan.”
DUP councillor Peter Weir said: “I am delighted at the outstanding success of Armed Forces Day in Bangor. Bangor was one of the local venues of a nationwide programme of events and played its part to the full.
“The Beating of the Retreat was warmly received,” he said and congratulated everyone involved in setting up the event.