Liberation Celebration Wageningen 2020 cancelled

Due to the corona crisis, the Liberation Celebration cannot be held as previously announced.

Wageningen45 is now discussing an alternative celebration without public attendance.

In Wageningen, City of Liberation, 4 and 5 May will be very different this year than in the past. Due to the corona crisis, the Liberation Celebration cannot be held as previously announced. Wageningen45 is now investigating the possibility of holding the traditional lighting and relaying of the National Liberation Torch and the National Capitulations Commemoration 1945 on 5 May Square in an altered form and without public attendance.

This decision arises from the stricter measure announced by Minister of Justice Grappenhaus stating that all gatherings where people come together are prohibited until 1 June.

This also means that, in the days prior to 4 and 5 May, the Freedom Lectures, Four Freedoms Tour, Freedom Film Festival, Light Up and the National Liberation Torch Relay Race on 4 May as well as the Foulkes Festival, the Liberation Festival Gelderland, the Liberation Parade and the Liberty Breakfast on 5 May have been cancelled. This also applies to all local programmes on 4 May, such as the Silent Walk.

Wageningen’s mayor Geert van Rumund: “It is very disappointing that the commemorations and celebrations on 4 and 5 May cannot take place as we had planned. Under the circumstances in which we now find ourselves, the cabinet has made the correct decision. It is in everyone’s interest that we now make efforts to stop the further spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, major events are not in line with such efforts. Together we will try to find a suitable way to celebrate 75 years of freedom. Let’s try to make a difference in this together.”

The chair of Wageningen45, Toon van Asseldonk: “A difficult but logical decision. And inevitable, given our present reality. So very many people have worked extremely hard these past few months to organise a grand commemoration and celebration of 75 years of Freedom in Wageningen. But now we need to be creative. We are going to try to find a suitable, contemporary way to relay the National Liberation Torch and organise the National Capitulations Commemoration 1945 on 5 May Square.”

In the past few weeks all of the involved parties, such as the municipality of Wageningen, the province of Gelderland, the National Committee 4 and 5 May and the 13 other Liberation Celebrations have followed the developments related to the coronavirus with great concern. Time and again, discussions were held about whether and how it might be possible to allow Wageningen Liberation activities to take place in a responsible manner. Unfortunately, it is now no longer justifiable to hold gatherings of large groups of people.

Together with the local initiators, the municipality of Wageningen is going to discuss whether it might be possible to adjust the form of the anniversary activities or even postpone them. Such possibilities are also being discussed for the local programme (Silent Walk, Open Jewish Homes and Remembrance Exposition) on 4 May, given the circumstances.

Wageningen45, the municipality of Wageningen and the province of Gelderland were all very excited about offering an especially varied programme in the framework of Gelderland Remembers prior to and on 4 and 5 May 2020. Representative Peter Drenth: “In the presence of about 150 veterans of World War Two and active international pelotons, we had planned to commemorate 75 years of Freedom by appreciating, experiencing, commemorating and celebrating. A combination of traditional and innovative activities in the theme of ‘Freedom: You make the Difference!’. We were so looking forward to welcoming them on 4 and 5 May with the great tribute that they deserve, but we support the decision of the mayor, the Safety and Health Region Gelderland Midden and Wageningen45 to find and carry out worthy alternatives.”

Liberation Celebration Wageningen 2021

Assuming that the corona crisis is under control by next year, Wageningen45, the municipality of Wageningen and the province of Gelderland will organise the Liberation Celebration Wageningen on 4 and 5 May 2021. Together with the other parties involved, Wageningen45 is going to try to hold as many of the planned 75 years of Freedom activities as possible in 2021.