SWANSEA’S skies will be sizzling with activity this summer thanks to the return of the Wales National Airshow to the city.
Swansea Council is teaming up with the Royal Air Force, the Army and the Navy to organise two days of jaw-dropping entertainment on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12.
The event will be held along the promenade and across Swansea Bay with ground displays, trade stands and funfairs starting at the Civic Centre and running along the coast towards Mumbles.
And it will tie in with celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of an announcement on July 3 back in 1969 that Swansea was to receive city status.
The Prince of Wales made the announcement from the steps of the Guildhall just two days after his investiture at Caernarvon Castle.
Some of the other plans to mark the occasion include the opportunity for the 1st the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) to march with bayonets fixed and colours flying through the city centre to a formal freedom ceremony at The Guildhall on July 11.
And this event will be a double celebration for the Afghanistan veterans because it also marks the 50th anniversary of their formation.
The Wales National Airshow was last held in Swansea two years ago when over 50,000 people from across the UK attended and this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever before.
The Royal Air Force has already confirmed the Red Arrows, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Hawks and Tutors will all be making appearances and the Royal Navy says the Black Cats Helicopter Display Team will also be taking part.
Further participants will be announced over coming weeks with displays set for the ground as well as the air.
Cllr Chris Holley, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The event two years ago is probably still very much alive in people’s memories and I’m delighted that we have been able to secure the Wales National Airshow as a highlight in this year’s Swansea Bay Summer Festival programme.
“This is a real coup for Swansea as the only Welsh city to be hosting such a prestigious national airshow and it will give local residents and visitors the chance to see some spectacular state-of-the-art technology both in the air and on the ground.
“I’m sure the atmosphere will be terrific and the local economy is sure to benefit from the inevitable influx of visitors over the two days.”
Arfon Davies, of Ammanford, attended the event in 2007.
He said: “It’s great to see major events like this coming to the area.
“I really enjoyed the event two years back and will definitely be coming to the airshow in July. The Typhoon Eurofighter was absolutely amazing.”
Opening times will be approximately 10am to 6pm with flight times to be confirmed closer to the event.
Have a look at www.swanseabayfestival.com for more information.
An appeal is also being made to people celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary from July to December this year and to people celebrating their 40th birthday on July 3 this year to attend a series of garden parties being hosted by the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House.
And any people marking these milestones in 2009 are being asked to contact Swansea Council’s corporate marketing department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to the team at the Civic Centre.
Other plans to celebrate the occasion include the distribution of commemorative coins commissioned from The Royal Mint to babies born on July 3 this year.