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Final preparations roll out for tank parade in Broadford

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Grace Frost
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Puckapunyal’s School of Armour is making final preparations for the Freedom of Entry Parade in Broadford on Sunday.

The event, from 10am to 2pm, marks the 82nd anniversary of the School of Armour’s establishment in Mitchell Shire, and will feature up to 20 armoured vehicles and soldiers parading along High Street towards Memorial Park.

There will be an official service, followed by a tank display, a chance to meet the soldiers and a community day including a sausage sizzle cooked by Broadford RSL.

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Businesses along High Street will also be open during normal trading hours.

Freedom of Entry is a tradition where military forces were granted permission to enter a township or precinct.

Soldiers’ uniforms and School of Armour vehicles are being ‘meticulously prepared’ for Sunday’s event in Broadford. ​

Sunday’s parade will be the first time the event has been in Broadford since 1987.

School of Armour commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Shepherd said preparations were in full swing at Puckapunyal.

“Preparing for a Freedom of Entry parade is not just about marching through the heart of the town; it’s a solemn duty and a profound honour,” he said.

“As we meticulously prepare our uniforms and vehicles, we are reminded of the trust bestowed upon us by the community.

“We are not merely practicing drills, we are upholding a tradition of honour, respect, and camaraderie.

“The Freedom of Entry parade is a living embodiment of the trust and mutual respect between our military family and the community we call home.”

Mitchell Shire Mayor Fiona Stevens encouraged the community to attend the important event and take the opportunity to meet and get to know something about those who are taking part.

“The public support will demonstrate your interest, respect and appreciation and reinforces that Broadford’s relationship with the Armoured Corps is still relevant and greatly valued,” she said.

“Those on parade will be polishing brass and boots to present themselves to us, so please join in this special occasion and show your gratitude and share their pride.”

There will be a number of road closures and detours in Broadford on Sunday.

There will be no heavy vehicle access through High Street between Short Street and Hamilton Street from 9am to 2pm. Suggested detour is via Seymour, Tooborac, Kilmore and Wandong.

Roads will gradually open as the parade passes through and the ceremony ends.

There will be no parking along the procession route in High Street or the High Street service roads on the morning of the parade. Some accessible parking will be available outside Broadford Primary School on Gavan Street.

For more information including a map of the parade and detours, visit mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/parade or call 5734 6200.

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