Plymouth is planning two events in 2020 to celebrate the armed forces and commemorate both the 75th anniversary of VE Day and Mayflower 400.
On Friday 8 May the city will join communities across Britain in celebrating VE Day 75 – and a special bank holiday – with a fantastic family event on the Hoe.
Seventy-five years after the guns fell silent at the end of World War Two millions around the world will reflect on the sacrifices made by people from all walks of life, commemorate their courage and celebrate peace.
The event on Plymouth Hoe will pay tribute to our veterans and the charities and organisations that support them, with community bands, a tea dance on the promenade and fantastic displays.
Then, on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September, Plymouth will stage an unmissable ‘Muster Weekend’ with the UK, US and Dutch armed forces, featuring amazing military displays, interactive demonstrations and a host of fun activities.
The two-day festival will form part of the city’s Mayflower Week and a year-long programme of commemorative events marking 400 years since the Pilgrims sailed to America.
Other events taking place during Mayflower Week will include a field gun festival, a four-nation civic ceremony commemorating the Mayflower’s journey and legacy and the international Royal Marines Rehabilitation Triathlon.
Deputy Council Leader Peter Smith said: “In 2020 Plymouth will be commemorating two of the most significant moments in its history – the departure of the Mayflower on its pioneering voyage to America and the dawn of peace after years of war in Europe.
“We’re really proud to be working with the armed forces, not just here in Plymouth and the UK but also overseas, to honour our servicemen and women and our military history as part of these major events.
“Because of the time they have committed to supporting the Mayflower Muster and the nationwide VE Day 75 celebrations we have agreed with them that activity normally planned for Armed Forces Day will be moved to these dates.
“We will, of course, still raise our Armed Forces Day flag outside Plymouth Guildhall to mark the national event in June and look forward to hosting another fantastic Armed Forces Day in 2021.”