At the beginning of May, Pilsen will experience an exceptional atmosphere. From May 3 to 6, historic military vehicles, authentic military camps, hospitals, field posts or kitchens will occupy the city center to commemorate the end of World War II and the liberation of the city by the American army. The military-historical program, which also includes the Convoy of Liberty with more than two hundred pieces of historic military vehicles, will enrich the cultural program with a country and folk scene, the LIBÉ RTY stage and the main stage on Republic Square. The festivities will culminate with main commemorative act at the Thank, you America! monument.
“For the city of Pilsen, the Liberation Festival Pilsen is not only a cultural event, but also an important event developing diplomatic relations between several countries. I am happy that families of American and Belgian veterans who still have Pilsen in their hearts will come to us during this time. I would like to invite the public to a varied program that should satisfy older and younger generations, we want to gradually focus more on. The legacy of the liberation of Pilsen needs to be passed on from generation to generation. We must never forget it,” said Pilsen Mayor Roman Zarzycký.
“The festival program offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all ages, which is unparalleled to other similar events in the Czech Republic or Central Europe. It commemorates  the end of the war, but also the joy of resuming celebrations after the Velvet Revolution. It is a holiday of freedom as such and a meeting place for all generations.  The dramaturgy of the cultural program or stylish refreshments in cooperation with the organizers of farmers’ markets in Pilsen should attract the attention of visitors to come,” said Jana Komišová from the marketing department of the Municipality of the City of Pilsen.

Period camps

WWII period camps with dozens of heavy and light armored vehicles, field kitchens, workshops and military quarters will be set up in the part of the orchard circuit, from Křižíkovy sady to through Šafaříkovyˇsady. The 16th Armored Division history club presents the legendary Sherman tank and the daily life of the soldiers (maintenance workroom). The Tommy & Yankee Military History Club will present the 45th Field Hospital, which actually operated in Pilsen. The Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade camp or the RAF and WAAF camp will have their place in Šafaříkovy sady with a 1:1 scale replica of the Spitfire fighter aircraft. In the space near the Patton Memorial Pilsen Museum (Pobrežní Street), the JTF Raiders Military History Club will present the current US Army, especially its 2nd Infantry Division.

Ceremonial opening of the celebrations

The start of the four-day Liberation Fesival Pilsen is scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 6 p.m. on Republic Square with the performance of thee American student marching band Stuttgart Legacy Drumline, US Garrison Ansbach JROTC drill team and representatives of the living history clubs present their vast scope of activities throughout the festivities in military camps. Pilsner Jazz Band provides musical accompaniment to the ceremony. The evening will end with a concert by the Jazz Without Borders Big Band with Chuck Wansley, an American singer of different musical styles.

Cultural program
In addition to Nthe City square center, the cultural program takes place in Pobřežní Street, near the Patton Memorial Pilsen museum, where folk and country music fans will enjoy themselves. The concerts will be presented by musician and presenter Míša Leicht. The third scene called LIBÉ RTY will be set up in Kopecky orchards. It is mainly dedicated to young people and its program composition is based on the influence of American culture, especially the influcen of the American culture on youn Czechs. “Genres such as blues, country, bluegrass, rock’n’roll or psychedelic rock are popular with Czech musicians, and they further developed their basis with the ‘Czech sound’.” The choice of groups floats across the aforementioned genres and shows how several decades of development have affected one of the most free professions and created new fusions,” said Jiří Kunc from the Pilsen branch of Memory of the Nations, which is behind the dramaturgy of the LIBÉ RTY scene. The Saturday run for all those who did not give up will take place under the direction of the Memory of the Nation. They will run through the city center on 5- and 10-kilometer long distances, accompanied by a family run route for everyone leading through the garden circuit. For families with children,  Memory of Nations will prepare a morning program on Republic Square.

Convoy of Liberty

On Sunday, May 5, the traditional Convoy of Liberty with military historical vehicles, led by a renovated Sherman M4 tank and jeeps with relatives of American and Belgian veterans directly participating in the liberation of western Bohemia 79 years ago, will pass along Klatovská třída . The convoy will be accompanied by a flyover of period airplanes P-51D Mustang, Boeing B 75 Stearman and Stinson AT 19B / Reliant Mk III.

Commemorative acts and time change at Thanks, America!

The celebrations include a number of commemorative acts. The main commemorative with the traditional flyover of Czech Republic Air Force L-159 Alca and JAS-39 Gripen planes takes place at the Thank You, America! on Monday, May 6 at 6 p.m.

Gastronomic program

An important part of the organization of the Liberation Festivali Pilsen is the gastronomic program, which should attract all visitors, from admirers of military history to culture lovers or families with children, with its high-quality craft offer with culinary art inspired by American cuisine and traditional Czech dishes. The coordinator of the gastrozone is Tomáš Popp, manager of the national team of chefs and organizer of the Pilsen farmers’ markets.

Pilsen liberated by Patton
The liberation of western and southwestern Bohemia in 1945 took place entirely under the direction of the American 3rd Army. It was headed by the most famous American general of the entire war, George Smith Patton. Pilsen welcomed the soldiers with the white star on May 6 and became one of the last places where the journey of the Allied troops through the European theatre of war ended. The memory of fighting or fallen Americans was forgotten, even belittled, and any official celebrations of the arrival of the American army in Pilsen were unthinkable before 1989. Since 1990, every year in May, Pilsen returns to 1945 and commemorates the events associated with the liberation.

The program in English