Please note, Portsmouth's VE Day Celebrations have now been postponed to 15 August (to coincide with VJ Day) in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The May Day Bank Holiday has been shifted to Friday this year, so people around the country can celebrate 75 years since VE Day. Portsmouth will be no exception, with a host of events and street parties taking place to mark the occasion.
The main event will be a sunset concert on Castle Field on Friday 8 May. The free, family event (which starts at 2pm) will showcase local talent in a series of 1940's themed performances, to bring the feel of a traditional street party. Attendees are encouraged to bring along their picnic and join in the fun, whilst catering concessions will also be available.
Linking in with national celebrations, the event will incorporate the reading of Winston Churchill's speech officially announcing the end of WWII followed by a lone piper playing Battle’s O’er and other VE/VJ 75 Years pieces. Battle's O'er is a traditional tune played by pipers at the end of fighting. The Lord Mayor will read 'A Cry for Peace', written for the occasion by Crier Peter Taunton.
This will lead into the evening sunset concert 'A Shared Moment in Celebration' - a free un-ticketed 1940s-themed concert featuring the Royal Marines Association Big Band. Culminating in a pyrotechnics finale, the event is expected to finish at approximately 8.30pm.
Places of worship in the city are being encouraged to join in with the national 'Ringing out for Peace' initiative with, bells ringing out to celebrate the peace we share today.
Portsmouth City Council will support and encourage street parties on bank holiday Friday and across the weekend.
On Sunday 10 May there will be a Civic Service held at the Anglican Cathedral, Old Portsmouth. The service, starting at 10.30am, will mark the significance of the conflict on our lives today, celebrating the peace we now share as a result but also remembering all those from the city who lost their lives.
Later, on Saturday 15 August, there will be a commemorative service at the cenotaph area, next to the Guildhall Square from 10.55 - 11.30am. The service will mark the significance of VJ Day as well that the end of WWII. The service will include the unveiling of VE Day and VJ plaques, which will remember the impact WWII had on the city, it's residents and all those from the city who fought for their country.
Map & Directions
|VE/VJ Day Celebrations (15 Aug 2020)|