Thank you, America! Goodbye, Pilsen. End of Liberation Festival 2016
The four-day Liberation Festival in Pilsen ends, according to estimates of the organizers and security forces it attracted between 40 and 50 thousand people from Thursday to Sunday. The greatest success among the events was definitely the Saturday Ride of Freedom when the column with 13 belgian and american veterans came to say hello to a total of nearly ten thousand citizens of Plzeň and visitors to the city. The organizers witnessed a great response also by the competition for families “From Normandy to Pilsen“ and the cultural program highlight the Saturday's concert of Marta Kubišová, which was applauded in the central square by roughly 3.5 thousand visitors.
"Crowds reaching the threshold of 50 thousand people is comparable with other non-anniversary years of Liberation Festival. Personally, I believe that visitors to the festival really enjoyed it, and I am immensely pleased by the very positive reactions of the veterans. They promised us at the final reception that they if their health would allow, to come back next year again,“ said mayor Martin Zrzavecký.
He added that from the point of view of safety that there were no extraordinary accidents or activities, which would significantly disrupt the public order, no problems occurred through any of the program points during the Liberation Festival. The number of interventions of security forces did not exceed a normal weekend traffic situation. "The Liberation Festival brought a number of touching moments, such as during the Saturday Ride of Freedom in the area of the army shooting stadium in Lobzy. There we together with the veterans honored the memory of citizens of Plzeň who had been murdered for helping paras in 1942. Another strong moment came when veterans Richard Pieper and Earl Ingram thanked for a very important moment, said they were very impressed and very much appreciated the fact that they had the opportunity to bow to the memory of the fallen citizens of Plzeň,“ said first deputy mayor Martin Baxa.
According to Jana Komišová, head of the Department of presentation and marketing at the city hall of Pilsen, this year's novelty, the competition From Normandy to Pilsen, was met with success. On Saturday families with children set on the way through prepared checkpoints on which they found themselves in the role of a soldier, and tried so a recruitment into the army and basic training as well as landing in Normandy, the battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Pilsen. "The route was undergone roughly by a thousand participants who positively evaluated the fact that the ceremony offered a family program," said Jana Komišová.
The tradition in the future could become also the other of this year's novelties, a guided demonstration of the American military technology, including the demonstration of shooting, which around 1,500 people came to enjoy today from 11 to 13 oclock in the premises of DEPO 2015.
From the perspective of the security forces the Celebration of Liberty 2016 were peaceful. "No serious disturbance occured, everything was done within the limits defined by law, for which I would like to thank the participants of the festival," the commander of the Municipal police of Plzeň Karel Mach evaluated the four-day event,. Every day Liberation Festival required the deployment of several dozens of city police officers, should the state Police had also increased deployment.
Thank you to all, who attended this year's Liberation Festival.
We will soon start with the preparation of the Celebrations for the year 2017. We look forward to seeing You again in Pilsen!