Councils lead local VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations

Councils across the country are helping residents find new ways to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day today.

Community action

Union jack bunting

The Local Government Association is encouraging all households to commemorate the occasion and share pictures and videos on social media using the hashtag #StayAtHomeParty.

The outbreak of COVID-19 means that there will be no street parties, parades or concerts this year.

However, councils across the country are determined to help their communities to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Europe at the end of the Second World War.

Many are providing their own online resources across the weekend as well as observing a national two minutes silence and a nation’s toast.

Examples include:

Wiltshire Council have created a special VE Day at home pack to help residents of all ages celebrate and mark the 75th anniversary of this historic moment in time. The pack contains themed recipe ideas, some suggested e-reading materials from the council’s library service, and craft ideas on how to make bunting and paperchains.

Wigan Council will provide a number of online resources which they hope will help residents get creative in their commemorations, while still respecting the social distancing rules. These include re-creating recipes, making bunting, creating poppies out of plastic bottles and having picnics in front gardens. The council wants residents to turn the borough red, white and blue themselves.

Newcastle City Council will be illuminating the Tyne Bridge in red and white. Families are being encouraged to make home-made flags and decorations for their house and there will be a virtual toast to join in too, raising a glass to the war heroes at 3pm on the day. The council has worked with the likes of the library service to arrange events and activities so that city residents can mark the occasion as-one but from their own homes.

Leicester City Council has asked residents to share photographs and memories of the day when Leicester celebrated the end of the Second World War. The council has used the photographs to create a special page on its Story of Leicester website to mark the anniversary.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:

“While celebrations for VE Day will be different this year, councils are helping communities to mark the occasion. 

“Councils are encouraging households to display flags and bunting outside their homes and take part in picnics in their gardens, while observing social distancing rules.

“There will be people in every community who will remember the events of VE Day 75 years ago and it is important we continue to let that memory live on and celebrate the importance of this historic anniversary.”

Notes to editors

You can read more about Wiltshire Council online.

You can read more information about Wigan Council online.

You can read more about Newcastle City Council online.

You can read more about Leicester City Council online.