Birmingham will mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day with a family day of World War Two-themed activities in Centenary Square on Friday, May 8th.
VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, marks the acceptance of the Allies of Germany’s unconditional surrender, bringing an end to nearly six years of war in Europe.
Birmingham’s celebrations will begin at 12 noon and will include a street party and a full stage programme including 1940s-themed musical and dance acts.
A two-minute silence will be observed outside the Hall of Memory at 3pm, followed by Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech and a small homecoming parade with veterans.
A home front area will include a wide range of 1940s-themed activities, including a rationing workshop, school life workshop, ‘Make Do and Mend’ workshop, makeovers, fashion exhibition and Lindy Hop dance workshop. The Royal British Legion will also have a presence.
There will also be a military area with a Spitfire replica in which people can sit, as well as a World War Two British soldiers’ encampment, complete with weapons and vehicles.
A flypast involving a World War Two Dakota plane will take place at 4pm, with the plane flying over three times.
The main activities in Centenary Square will run until 7pm. At 9.30pm, Lord Mayor Cllr Shafique Shah will light a VE Day beacon – Birmingham has been chosen to host one of 100 beacons being lit across the UK.
The Lord Mayor said: “VE Day is a celebration of peace and this event is an opportunity for people in Birmingham to come together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this historic occasion and, of course, pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in World War Two.
“It is a great honour for me, as Lord Mayor, to be lighting Birmingham’s beacon and playing a part in this important act of remembrance.”