Every year, Pilsen imaginatively returns to the year 1945 when the city was liberated by the American army. The Liberation Festival offers a diverse, multi-day programme that includes historical military camps with examples of the soldiers’ and civilians’ lives from that period, a convoy of historical military vehicles, thematic cultural events, and commemorative gatherings at the WWII memorials. This will be the first year not attended by the veterans who liberated Pilsen in 1945, but that won’t take anything away from the greatness of this event. Liberators George Thompson and Lincoln Harner will be present, at least symbolically, thanks to a speech they filmed abroad for Pilsen’s locals.
Our top picks from the programme:
From Friday to Sunday, in the park behind OC Plzeň Plaza, you’ll find examples of military vehicles, a period infirmary, a field kitchen, tanks, and military aircraft and you can even embark on commentated tours. The Army of the Czech Republic will also hold a presentation, demonstrating to visitors the exercise MUSADO. And you can look forward to a cultural programme in the amphitheatre, featuring concerts by various artists.
From Friday to Monday, at Proluka in the Křižíkovy sady park, you can enjoy examples of what life was like for the American soldiers during WWII, a field kitchen, and a Sherman tank.
From Friday to Sunday, on Pobřežní Street at KD Peklo, visitors can see examples of current US armed forces, particularly from the US Army.
You can also enjoy the cultural programme every day at Republic Square. Starting at 19h on Friday, the festival’s grand opening will take place here with the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Also, here on Saturday starting at 12h and going until the evening, you can experience five concerts. For instance, you can look forward to Václav Noid Bárta with the Milan Brouček Cimbalom Band, who will take the stage at 18h.
On Sunday at 12h, the Convoy of Liberty will arrive at the square after having left from Sukova Street at 10h, where it will be greeted by the Folk Ensemble of Songs and Dances JISKRA. The celebrations will continue here until 22h, and the bands Navostro and Bratři Ebenové will play.
And on Monday, you can visit the square at 10h for the family- and kid-oriented programme and music played by three different orchestras.