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Armed Forces Day cleared for June take off

Whether looking to the sky or exploring what is on the ground, it will be an action-packed Armed Forces Appreciation Day in North Bay

North Bay City Council recently cleared the way for the joint City of North Bay and CFB North Bay Armed Forces Appreciation Day celebration to have exclusive access to the typical waterfront locations used in years past.

See related: Welcome back: Snowbirds set to dazzle in 2024 North Bay show

North Bay’s 12th annual in-person Armed Forces Day is set for Wednesday, June 19. Up to 5,000 students from local schools are expected to be in attendance.

The event will run from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the North Bay Waterfront and — weather permitting — will include exciting aerial demonstrations by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, Canadian Armed Forces SkyHawks Parachute Demonstration Team and the CF-18 Tactical Demonstration Team, performances by the 22 Wing Band and various static displays. All activities and entertainment will be free to the public.

Mayor Peter Chirico, until recently an Honorary Colonel, took the opportunity to speak about the significance of Armed Forces Day and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

"This is something we in this community should celebrate to recognize the members of our Armed Forces as they allow us to sleep at night," said Chirico in chambers. "That's as simple as it gets and this is the 100th anniversary ... We have a huge celebration planned for June 19th ... it's going to be a great day down at the waterfront, we encourage everyone to come down to celebrate and say 'thank-you' to each and every one of our Armed Forces members who contribute to our community, right across this country and world."

Armed Forces Day is held annually in North Bay to recognize members of the United States Air Force who, as part of NORAD and in support of the mission of the Canadian Air Defence Sector at 22Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay, contribute to the successful bi-national organization and have been part of the North Bay community for over 70 years.

See coverage of the 2023 event: Ground troops are unsung heroes on Armed Forces Day

The CF Snowbirds have been entertaining audiences across North America since 1971 and the team's shows are the result of months of intensive preparation and training of over 50 different formations and manoeuvres. The team continues to inspire the public by highlighting the extraordinary skill, professionalism, teamwork, and diversity of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Armed Forces Day 2024 will mark a return to the skies over North Bay for the first Snowbirds performance in some time. The team landed in North Bay to refuel only last year, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled Armed Forces Day in 2020 and 2021, while technical issues forced a cancellation just before a scheduled performance in 2022.

The SkyHawks, the Canadian Forces Parachute Demonstration Team, have been regular performers for the event. Based at CFB Trenton, they are a sub-unit of the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre. The team consists of both permanent members and temporary members from the Regular and Reserve Forces.

Major-General Iain Huddleston, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division noted "2024 marks a significant milestone for the RCAF and provides a unique opportunity, through the CF-18 Demonstration Team, to showcase Air Force personnel and their capabilities, while proudly celebrating our past – present – and future. We’re pleased to have Captain Robert, and his team of highly motivated and professional technicians, represent the RCAF as the 2024 CF-18 Demonstration Team to celebrate the RCAF Centennial during the upcoming airshow season."

The council approval, granted during the Feb. 13 regular meeting, gives the event exclusivity to use the City-owned or controlled lands along the waterfront and Memorial Drive on June 19, from Tenth Street to Lee Park, excluding the North Bay Wastewater Treatment Facility Lands. Memorial Drive will be closed from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Parking will be available at municipal lots 2 and 10 on Oak Street, near the North Bay Museum and North Bay Transit Terminal. Accessible parking will be available at the waterfront.

To ensure safety, please be aware that the North Bay Waterfront will be a “No Drone Zone" during Armed Forces Day. Residents should also expect extra noise while the demonstration teams take to the skies to entertain.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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