Thousands of people streamed through the Villa Marina gardens on Saturday to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

It is the second time the event has been held since the pandemic, and achieved its goal of bringing large numbers of families and children together to enjoy entertainment alongside veterans and current military members.

Children were able to enjoy a BB gun shooting range, bouncy castles, a carousel and a miniature ferris wheel.

They were also able to check out real military hardware, including rifles, helmets and body armour.

A parade of veterans (from conflicts ranging from WWII to Northern Ireland), active service personnel and cadets marched from Regent Street to the Villa Marina, where they were addressed by Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer, himself a former army paratrooper and officer.

He had just come from completing a 19 mile stretch to Rushen in the Parish Walk, which also took place on that day.

Plenty of stalls were on offer, from the island’s affiliated 75 Engineer Regiment, to Heroes on the Water, the charity which offers seagoing-based therapy in Port Soderick.

Hilary Cleverly won the award for services to the armed forces community, for her efforts collecting for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Organiser Diane Kelsey said it was a ‘great long day of celebrations’ which went on with live music until late.