Celebrate VE Day safely at home this bank holiday Friday

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VE Day celebrations this year will be unique for a number of reasons. The early May bank holiday has been moved to Friday to allow for a three-day weekend celebration, and social distancing restrictions mean that street parties will have to be postponed.

To ensure everyone’s safety, Bedford Borough Council is asking everyone to stay safe by staying at home to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day this Friday 8 May.

And while it’s no longer possible to hold the street parties and mass celebrations that were originally planned, you can still join the celebrations at home and online.

VE DayFrom preparing coloured bunting for your windows to raising a toast to the nation’s heroes past and present, there are still ways to mark the historic date.

Mayor of Bedford Borough Dave Hodgson, said, “It is very sad that we will not be able to mark this important anniversary of the end of war in Europe as originally planned.

“The Union Flag will be flying at Borough Hall to mark this occasion, and we are working with the Royal British Legion to hopefully celebrate both VJ Day and VE Day together later in the year.

“In the meantime we wanted to share some ideas for how you can still celebrate on Friday while staying safe at home and observing the governments advice on social distancing.”

Ways to commemorate:

  • Ahead of the day why not prepare some coloured bunting with the Great British Bunting initiative
  • Pause for a Two Minute Silence at 11am and watch stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War
  • Join ‘The Nation’s Toast’ at 3pm – raise a glass with the nation to the heroes of WWII (broadcast starts at 2.45pm on BBC1)
  • Watch further VE Day 75 special broadcasts on the BBC, including extracts from Churchill’s famous victory speech and Her Majesty The Queen addressing the nation at 9pm
  • Take part in a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll meet again’
  • Have an indoor or back garden picnic. Your menu choices could include recipe ideas from 1945!
  • Visit the English Heritage website to learn songs from the era, including classics from Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn, and get tips on how to dance the Lindy Hop.
  • Visit the VE Day 75 website to learn about the history of the war. They’ve also got some recipes to take it back to 1945, including spam hash and eggless fruit cake.
  • Take Dan Snow’s VE Day challenge for young people
  • Share your VE Day activities on social media using the #VEDay75 hashtag

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