Preston to mark D-Day 80th anniversary with commemorative event

Preston is gearing up for a significant event on Saturday June 8 as the city prepares to honour the 80th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings.

Organised by Preston City Council, the D-Day 80 celebration event will take place at The Flag Market and The Guild Hall in Preston from 1pm until 4pm, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those who participated in the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The event, a notable addition to Preston's 2024 calendar of events, will bring history to life through a diverse range of activities and performances.

Attendees can look forward to a parade, dance performances, military vehicle displays, a 1940s fashion show, engaging creative workshops and a historical exhibition of Dickie Bird cartoons.

Additionally, on Thursday, 6 June the city will host a poignant civic ceremony centred around the symbolic lighting of a beacon at The Flag Market. The ceremony will begin at 9:15pm and will be preceded by a parade of Veterans and Cadets, a brass band performance and choir performances from 8pm.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for Arts and Culture at Preston City Council said:

"As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, we honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for freedom. The D-Day events in Preston stand as a testament to our gratitude and respect for the heroes who changed the course of history. Let us come together as a community to remember their courage and ensure that their legacy inspires generations to come."

The event's programme on Saturday June 8 boasts an array of attractions, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy:

  • Brass Band Performance: Hesketh Silver Band will provide musical accompaniment with a special performance.
  • Vintage Dance Workshop: Anthony Padgett will lead a workshop exploring dance styles from the 1940s era.
  • 1940s Fashion Show: Attendees can step back in time with a fashion show highlighting the iconic styles of the 1940s.
  • Vintage Singing: Hattie Bee will transport audiences with her renditions of classic songs from the era.
  • Dance Performances: Students from Preston College will showcase their talents with specially choreographed dance performances.
  • Dickie Bird Cartoon Display: The Guild Hall will host a display of Dickie Bird cartoons, offering a look back into wartime humour.
  • Re-enactment Displays: Actors will bring history to life. Experience the era with Women's Land Army training, Home Front food preparation, butter making, and a 1940s homemade peg toys workshop featuring bomber and fighter planes and dolls.

The D-Day 80 event promises to be a fitting tribute to the bravery and determination of all those who served and sacrificed during this pivotal moment in history. Attendees are encouraged to join in, dressing in 1940s clothing and honouring the memory of those who took part in one of the most significant military operations of the 20th century.

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