How are local councils celebrating VE Day during the coronavirus lockdown?

VE Day Union Jack flags

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, an event that was going to be marked by street parties, carnivals and parades up and down the country. The traditional May Day bank holiday was even moved to Friday 8th May to coincide with VE Day and enable us all to join in the celebrations.

Unfortunately, all plans for outdoor activities and mass gatherings have had to be cancelled due to the social distancing guidelines we are following in the fight against COVID-19.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has issued new guidance regarding the VE Day celebrations and provided some information on how people can get involved in what still promises to be a special bank holiday Friday.

Although their original plans have had to be scaled back or cancelled, a lot of local councils are getting creative so that they can still celebrate VE Day 75. If you are looking for some ideas, we have highlighted some of the great things councils are doing up and down the country to commemorate this historic date.

We will be updating this list on a daily basis in the run-up to VE Day 75, so please contact us if you would like us to share your own council’s celebration plans.

Barlborough Parish Council

To commemorate V.E. Day, the Parish will be hanging special bunting that has been decorated by local groups including children and young people.

They will also be playing 1940’s music throughout the Parish following Winston Churchill’s speech on BBC 1 – and are inviting residents to join in with the bunting and music to create a sense of celebration.

Find out more:

Doddington Parish Council

Doddington Parish Council are hosting a special ‘Stay At Home’ Street Party.

While the community is unable to celebrate as planned, they want to brighten up the streets and get as many as people as possible to decorate their homes in red, white and blue.

To achieve the ‘street party’ atmosphere, they are also asking everyone to enjoy a picnic in their front gardens.

Full details:

Woughton Community Council

Woughton Community Council have put together a list of resources to help households celebrate VE Day in lockdown.

They have VE Day information sheets, a quiz, wartime recipes and bunting, colouring and crafts for residents to decorate their home for the celebrations.

They are also running a VE Day ‘Flash Mob’ dance, asking people to record themselves doing the dance and sharing it on social media using #woughtonVEDay

Full information here:

Sutton at Hone & Hawley Parish Council

Sutton at Hone & Hawley Parish Council have a full timetable of activities to keep the community spirit high during VE Day.

At 11am they are encouraging residents to observe the national minute’s silence on their doorstep, and then following the Winston Churchill broadcast on BBC1 at 3pm they want to see everyone out in their front gardens enjoying a picnic.

Then at 6pm they are hosting a communal dinner, including a ‘toast to your neighbours’.

Find out more:

Hertford Town Council - Virtual event

Hertford Town Council have arranged a full programme of online events and activities throughout the day.

They will broadcast everything on their Facebook page, starting at 10am with a tutorial on how to style your hair for the perfect 1940’s look. 

As well as the two minute’s silence at 11am, there will also be a wartime dance tutorial at midday, a bread baking demo and much more.

Full information here:

Derby City Council - Virtual dedication service

All of Derby City Council’s previously planned celebrations have had to be cancelled due to the ongoing public health emergency, so they will instead broadcast a pre-recorded dedication service.

The Council, along with Derby Homes, and trustees of the War Memorial Village planned the event, that was filmed before social distancing was introduced, and have included the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War II, led by the Mayor of Derby, Councillor Frank Harwood.

They will broadcast the service at 2.45pm on Friday on their Facebook page.

Full details:

Ringwood Town Council - Decorate your home and host a 1940's tea party

Ringwood Town Council are running a range of activities during the day to help the community commemorate VE Day 75.

They will hosting a ‘toast’ at 3pm, and inviting residents to join in from their front rooms or on their doorsteps. As well as encouraging residents to decorate their homes in red, white and blue, Ringwood Town Council are also inviting them to host their own 1940’s tea party.

Find out more:

Newmarket Town Council - VE Day 75th Stay Home ”Street Party”

While the street party they initially planned can’t go ahead, Newmarket Town Council still intend to see the day out with a bang.

They are inviting the Newmarket residents to decorate their houses in red, white and blue, as well as join in singalongs of “We’ll Meet Again”, “The White Cliffs Of Dover” and “When The Lights Go On Again”.

For more information visit:

Knutsford Town Council - Commemorative service on Facebook

After being forced to cancel their impressive plans for a VE Day Street Party, Knutsford Town Council are holding a special commemorative service on Facebook on Friday 8 May.

They are encouraging residents to take part in the two minute’s silence on their doorstep at 11am, and then after Winston Churchill’s famous speech is broadcast on BBC1 at 3pm they want to recreate the street party atmosphere with picnics in front gardens.

Find out more:

South Hanningfield Parish Council - Stay At Home Street Party

South Hanningfield Parish Council have postponed their planned VE Day celebrations until 2021, and are instead hosting a Stay At Home Street Party this Friday.

They are asking residents to decorate their homes in red, white and blue and to enjoy a picnic in their front garden to give the community that authentic “street party” atmosphere while practising social distancing.

Find out more:

Wivenhoe Town Council - VE Day Garden Party and Doorstep Singalong

Wivenhoe Town Council are encouraging people to come together in spirit and song to celebrate VE Day 75.

The plans include encouraging the community spirit by holding garden parties, and arranging a doorstep singalong of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”, hosted by Colne Radio.

Full details:

Hound Parish Council – VE Day 75 Anniversary Competitions

Hound Parish Council are supporting the VE Day event by running three competitions:

  • The best decorated house and/or garden
  • The best decorated cake or cupcakes
  • The most inventive/funny/original sketch (e.g. on YouTube, TikTok etc.)

Entrants must follow a VE Day theme, and Amazon vouchers will be awarded to the top three in each category.

This is a great way for councils to get their communities involved in the VE Day celebrations from home, and we look forward to seeing the entries!

Find out more here:

Faversham Town Council – Virtual VE Day

Faversham Town Council are planning to mark the occasion by running a ‘Virtual VE Day’ which will feature special social media and online activities throughout the day.

They are also inviting people in the town to decorate their windows and homes, and are hoping to inspire a mass singalong of “We’ll Meet Again”.

Their planned online activity includes inviting people of the town to share their own stories, photos and memorabilia from the original VE Day in 1945 to create an online exhibition.

For more information visit:

Wellington Town Council – Stay At Home Party

Wellington Town Council are planning a special Stay At Home party to commemorate the end of WW2 on Friday 8th May 2020.

They are asking local residents to decorate their house in red, white and blue (with a Wellington theme wherever possible) and to enjoy a picnic in their back gardens to create the atmosphere of a street party.

They are also asking people to send in pictures of their decorations, with three cash prizes of £30 on offer for the best dressed houses.

Find out more:

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