Since 1990, the Liberation Festival Pilsen will be held without WWII veterans for the first time; offering interesting military-history and culture program
Pilsen will remember the events related to the liberation by the US Army with the military-history and culture program on May 5-8. The program involving on regular basis reenactment camps, the parade of the vintage military vehicles, commemorative acts and attractive musical performance will be jointly set up by the non-profit organization Post Bellum. Its project day will be presented at the main square (Republic square) on Monday, May 8, including program for families with children.
Reenactment camps with tens of heavy and light armored vehicles, wrecking and transport ones with the legendary Spifire 1:1 static replica, field kitchens, field military quarters will be presented not only next to the city center in Křižíkovy sady but part of them will return behind shopping mall Plaza after its reconstruction.
One of the highlights will be for sure the Convoy of Liberty on Sunday, convoy having more than 200 vintage military vehicles followed by the fly past in air by modern combat aircraft and historical ones as well.
Traditionally, in addition to the smaller commemorative acts the main one at the Thank you, America! monument takes place on May 6 marking the day when Pilsen was liberated in 1945.
Since 1990, the American and Belgian WWII veteran who were coming to Pilsen on regular basis to remember the important moment of the end of the war and to honor their fellow friends and soldiers will not attend the ceremonies. The honorable guests will be their families and family members continuing in the legacy of their fathers, uncles and grandfathers. The Liberation Festival Pilsen vibrant atmosphere will be conveyed by online broadcasting on the Liberation Festival Pilsen FB page where the veterans may follow a part of the program at least – in particular the main commemorative act at the Thank you, America! Monument and the Convoy of liberty.
The culture program will be performed on two stages – at the city center (Republic square) and behind the shopping mall Plaza (the amphitheater) – with the catchy rhythms of swing, jazz, folk and country. For instance, band and interprets as Kateřina Steinerová & Her Swing Boys, Václav Noid Bárta and Milan Brouček’s cymbal music, the groups Cop, Navostro, Taxmeni or Bratři Ebenová will attract the attention of the visitors. Ellington’s Sacred Concert for soprano, choir and big band may be one of the music highlights of the program including the Pilsen Philharmonic playing on Friday’s opening night.
The May 8th city center program will be jointly arranged in cooperation with the Pilsen branch of the Memory of nations (Post Bellum). The morning run for the Memory of nations starts at 10 AM. Its aim is to honor and remember the fates of political prisoners, WWII veterans, victims of the holocaust, communist dissidents and freedom fighters. In the afternoon the legendary movie songs by Sláva Eman and Jaroslav Ježek will be performed by the swing band Ježek´s traces next to the melodies by Voskovec and Werich from their antiwar work. The Memory of nations orchestra with Monika Načeva and others guest involving young musicians is the next highlight of the program.
This year we remember the 80th anniversary of the activation of the 16th Armored Division, whose tanks and vehicles were the first to enter Pilsen on May 6, 1945. An exposition at the city hall depicts its establishment at Camp Chaffee and its way through the ETO ended up by the liberation of Pilsen.
The outdoor exhibition panels in Smetana Gardens will focus on the post-war years of freedom.
The Freedom Celebration program is available at https://www.slavnostisvobody.cz/program