Information about VE Day Celebrations

VE Day celebrations

Please see the below information that is being shared across Leicestershire in relation to VE Day celebrations;

Firstly, we recognise the importance of VE Day and appreciate that many will want to celebrate this very important date with others, however current Government guidelines state that social distancing rules must be strictly maintained to ensure the safety of each other. Please bear in mind that our Emergency Services are working hard to support the health service, so having to divert resources to attend gatherings such as street parties etc. would put an additional strain on these services. Therefore the emergency service, and other agencies, will not be providing support for VE Day events.

  • Residents are being urged to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day from the safety of their homes;
  • As a result of national government guidance on social distancing, most events planned to mark 75 years since the end of World War Two on Friday May 8 have been cancelled;
  • Residents are still being encouraged to celebrate the occasion in their homes by displaying posters, bunting and hosting tea parties with a war time menu while continuing to follow social distancing guidelines;
  • People across the nation are being asked by local BBC radio stations to take part in the ‘Great British Bunting’ by creating their very own VE Day 75 bunting and displaying it in their windows during the period from Friday May 8 to Sunday May 10;
  • For those wanting to host their own tea party within their home, a range of different recipes from the 1940s and a music playlist are available from the national VE Day 75 campaign;
  • Residents can also get involved with national events which includes a two-minute silence at 11am, the ‘Nations Toast to the Heroes of World War 2’ at 3pm and a televised address from The Queen at 9pm. The pre-recorded address by The Queen will be followed by a national sing-along of the wartime favourite Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again;
  • The ‘Nations’ Toast to the Heroes of World War 2’ will take place at 3pm and people can take part by standing at home and raising a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertaking the following toast – “To those who gave so much, we thank you”;
  • By taking these steps and adopting this approach to VE Day Celebrations people will be helping to ensure that our emergency services can be focused and prioritised on alleviating pressure on public services during this pandemic where it is most needed
  • We’re also keen to gather photos, video, stories and artwork of people celebrating VE Day to form part of the Isolated but Inspired project, a digital time capsule to document this time in social history which is being co-ordinated by Leicestershire’s Museum Service;
  • For more information about celebrating VE Day at home visit your local council website;
  • Share your views, pictures and more on Twitter with the hashtag #VEDay75.
  • More detail on the Governments approach to the VE celebrations is available through this link

For future planned events, please note the information below;

  • We understand that people and organisations may want to hold public events in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland once social distancing restrictions start to be lifted.
  • Those events could be for celebration, commemoration or existing planned annual events that may indicate life is returning to normal and/or support recovering local economies and communities;
  • However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that some form of social distancing guidance is likely to be in effect for many months, probably into next year, and the whole purpose of social distancing is to save lives;
  • Therefore, agencies will carefully consider requests to hold public events and weigh up a range of factors including the risks to public health, impacts on the highway network and any possible community and economic benefits;
  • Agencies will only support events if sufficient resources are available as it is expected that public events will need more planning, support, and management than in the past because of social distancing requirements;
  • Agencies will not offer any level of support to those events not following Government guidance;
  • If support cannot be provided, agencies may work with communities to find solutions but the risk to public health will be the key deciding factor;
  • Agencies are already developing plans about how they might manage and support public events in the future, such as by encouraging event organisers to consider social distancing and the latest Government guidance in their event planning;
  • Very few, if any events are expected to take place over the summer period and agencies are anticipating that this could extend until the end of the year.
Kelly Hill
Author: Kelly Hill