Skip to main content
Luton Borough Council

20/01/2020 - Luton to commemorate VE Day with Luton International Carnival in Town Centre celebrations

Luton Carnival is making an exciting return to Luton Town Centre as part of this year’s VE Day 75 commemorative event, celebrating 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.

To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the early May bank holiday is moving from Monday 4 to Friday 8 May and Luton Council will be providing a programme of activities as part of the National commemorations in St George’s Square.

Luton’s vibrant and colourful Carnival will also be moving from their traditional spring bank holiday spot to join in the celebrations on the Bank Holiday Friday, with the theme Give Peace a Chance.

The carnival route will be adjusted to take in St George’s Square, before returning to Wardown Park where there will be stalls and attractions for families.

Hazel Simmons (MBE) Leader of Luton Council said, “We’re delighted that Luton International Carnival are joining us in these very important VE Day celebrations. Supporting the suite of vibrant cultural events that Luton has to offer is part of our ongoing legacy following on from People Power Passion. This combined event will see the town come together as one to celebrate under the banner of Give Peace a Chance, whilst commemorating such pivotal date in our history.

We as a town have upped our game dramatically in terms of high profile and high quality events over the last few years, especially during the Pilot year of Culture in 2019. We intend to continue to deliver events that not only demonstrate the huge amount of talent we have in Luton, but also provide opportunities to those aspiring to develop a career in the arts. I’d like to encourage all to attend and enjoy what a promises to be a very special event.”

Tola Dabiri, CEO of UK Centre for Carnival Arts (UKCCA) said, “UKCCA is delighted to be able to play such a major part in the VE Day celebrations.  As a major cultural event in the town, we bring together all of Luton's diverse communities in our annual celebration of Carnival, and what better celebration can there be, than to mark 75 years of peace?

We’re looking forward to bringing the parade through the town centre again. Carnival will then make its way back to Wardown Park, where those joining us will find the traditional funfair and stalls for all to enjoy.”

Commemorative events will take place over the 3-day weekend across the country, including:

the Nation’s Toast, where over 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the Heroes of World War II
bagpipers playing the traditional Battle’s O’er at the top of the 4 highest peaks in the UK – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales, and Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland
bells in churches and cathedrals across the country joining forces in a special Ringing Out for Peace
local street parties and celebrations across the 3-day weekend
Full details on VE Day and Carnival will be released later in the year.

To find out more about VE Day, visit the VE Day 75 website.
© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ