The events associated with the liberation by the US Army will Pilsen traditionally commemorate by its military-historical and cultural program. The Pilsen celebrations include reenactment camps, meetings with war veterans, commemorative acts and attractive concerts. The Convoy of Liberty, a vintage military vehicles parade, will pass through the city on Sunday, May 5th. Pilsen, celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the free Liberation festival – the liberation by the US Army, will give an open air concert of the Pilsen Philharmonic orchestra. Similarly to 1945, the aria from Dvořák´s Rusalka Song to the moon will be presented.
For three days, the celebrations visitors will be offered period military camps. The largest camp, the US Army 16th Armored Division’s camp, will be set up in the park behind the Plzeň Plaza Shopping Center. There will be dozens of heavy and light armored vehicles, workshop and transport equipment, including two M36 Jackson tank destroyers, one of which will be hired from the Military History Institute and the other from the Smržovka Museum. „For the first time we will present the first refurbished M4A4 Sherman medium tank in the Czech Republic,“ said Pavel Rogl of the 16th Armored Division Military History Club. The camp will include a working field kitchen with period furnishings, maintenance or repair workshops, and military quarters for ranks and officers, military police stations and other facilities. The camp program will offer demonstrations of shooting from infantry weapons, machine guns and guns from vehicles. The historical tented camp of the Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade and the Royal Air Force (RAF) will have its place in the park.
The members of the 2nd Infantry Division and various military equipment including original material and equipment will settle in Křižík Park until Monday, May 6. Even civilian life is integral part of the program presenting bands playing period music, interesting performers, fashion shows, or the screening of films or newsreels.
Convoy of Liberty:
One of the highlights of the event will be the Sunday convoy of more than 220 vintage military vehicles with the fly-past of the current combat planes and the historic single-engine two-seater aircrafts Harvard.
Thank you, America!
In addition to lesser commemorative acts at the memorials of the 2nd Infantry Division, the 16th Armored Division, or Míru Square, the main commemorative act of the Liberation Festival – at the Thank you, America! Memorial – will traditionally take place on May 6, on the day when Pilsen was liberated.
Cultural and accompanying program:
The cultural program at the Republic Square will be opened by the Big Band of the Pilsen Conservatory and followed by the concert of the Pilsen Philharmonic orchestra, featuring the works of Antonín Dvořák as on August 4, 1945. At that time, the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra played in honor of US Ambassador Laurence A Steinhardt in Měšťanská beseda. Laurence A Steinhardt came to Pilsen for the military parade of US troops and honorary units of the Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade. Aria Rusalka, which was performed by a member of the opera of the National Theater Zdeňka Hrnčířová 74 years ago, will be sung by soprano Michell Katrak. Antonín Dvořák’s classic will be followed by American jazz, Glenn Miller’s music and Jaroslav Ježek and Osvobozené divadlo (Liberated Theater). In the following days, special musical groups such as Čechomor and Hradišťan with Jiří Pavlica will appear on the stage, Eddie Edward & Friends with their original American country concept, New Time Orchestra with Hana Holišová, Pilsner Jazz Band and Pilsen Jazz Band and folk group Marien from Pardubice will play at the Republic Square stage.
Swedish metal band Sabaton will pay tribute to the local resistance and the American liberators presenting their special show at Lochotín Amphitheater on Saturday, May 4.
An outdoor exhibition commemorating the role of the Czechoslovak Independent Armored Brigade and the 75th anniversary of the opening of the second front in Normandy, France will be held. He shows the way of the soldiers to the French port of Dunkirk; before the ended of the war the shelling, mines and clashes brought death to nearly two hundred Czechoslovaks there.
The program in the city center will be accompanied by the international parachute competition Freedom cup Pilsen in Borský Par with participation of athletes from Germany, England, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and France.