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Thursday July 5th is the Island’s National Day when the Isle of Man’s unique parliamentary democracy will be celebrated at the formal open-air proceedings of Tynwald Court on Tynwald Hill, followed by a packed programme of attractions for all the family including the opportunity to showcase Manx heritage expressed through music, song and dance.

In this Year of Our Island we are delighted that July has been designated Culture month and we encourage you to explore more, do more and share more by coming to St John’s to watch the ceremony and enjoy the festivities.

The visiting military units this year are from the Royal Navy. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth in its current composition is a direct descendent of the Band of the Royal Marines Artillery formed in 1861.

In 1902, the band accompanied King Edward VII on a cruise aboard His Majesty’s Yacht Victoria and Albert. The following year, the band was permanently appointed for musical duties aboard the Royal Yacht, a privileged duty they performed until the decommissioning of Her Majesty the Queen’s Yacht Britannia in 1997. Following this, The Queen agreed that the band should continue their royal duties. Their special badge bearing the words ‘Royal Yacht’ was altered to read ‘Royal Band’ and is still proudly worn on the right shoulder of every member of the Portsmouth band.

In recent years, the band have performed for many engagements including The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic Games in 2012, the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony in 2015, The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle in 2016 and the NFL London game at Twickenham Stadium in 2017.

Meanwhile, this year’s Guard of Honour will be formed of personnel drawn from the Royal Navy State Ceremonial Training Section.

The President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan MLC said: ‘Tynwald Day at St John’s is a day of tradition, pageantry and celebration, but it also provides an opportunity to look to the future and, on this occasion, to explore how we can protect the environment of our Island for the generations who follow. To this end, and in line with the government’s aim to reduce volumes of single single-use plastic, stallholders on the Fair Field will be required to supply and use only recyclable containers and other items.

‘With this in mind, I hope that visitors to St John’s on our National Day will not only enjoy the magnificent line-up of entertainment and activities we have planned but will also support this responsible initiative, especially in light of the Island’s unique UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status.’

In addition to the formal proceedings there will be a wide range of attractions and entertainment for all the family lasting late into the evening.  To find out more visit facebook.com/TynwaldDay or instagram.com/tynwaldday.

Tynwald Day will be streamed live at tynwald.org.im. To follow events as they happen click on the ‘Watch Live’ link.

Grandstand tickets, priced £4 to include a programme, will be on sale from Monday June 11 at the Tynwald Library, Legislative Buildings, Finch Road, Douglas, or may be reserved by telephoning 685500.

Blue Badge holders wishing to attend Tynwald Day may apply to the Tynwald Administration Office for a parking pass entitling them to a reserved space at St John’s Primary School. For all enquiries, telephone 685500.

For details of Tynwald Day bus services, visit bus.im.