D-Day Festival 2017 in Cotentin Bay to celebrate the 73 years of the landing

Each year, Normandy commemorates the landing on June 6, 1944. In 2017, numerous events and ceremonies are organized on all of the D-Day landing beaches. On the Utah Beach sector, there are strategic cities like Sainte Mère Eglise, Carentan, Sainte Marie du Mont but also many villages that have gone down in history with the events of June 1944 when Americans came for our freedom.

You will find the entire program for the 73rd anniversary of the Landing in Cotentin Bay on the Tourist Office website (http://www.ot-baieducotentin.fr/). For information on events around Bayeux, Arromanches, Ouistreham, see the website of the Bayeux Bessin Tourist Office (www.bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com).

This year 2017 June 6 falls on a Tuesday and it is just after the Pentecost weekend where most of the events will take place! But these festivities begin on Saturday May 27: you will find below some great events not to be missed!

Major events of the 73rd anniversary D-Day

Find below some ideas from a wide festive program offered by the different towns on the Normandy D-Day beaches.
Take advantage of this week of commemorations and festivities to discuss and exchange with the American, Dutch, German and English soldiers … they will be present at Sainte Mère Eglise, Picauville, Carentan during the day and evening as well as at ceremonies and of course, they will ensure the show during the big parachute drop at La Fière on Sunday June 4 from 11am.

Saturday May 27, join the 11th edition of this walk: 19 km in 3 stages from Vindefontaine to Sainte Mère Eglise, for a friendly moment in order to celebrate Peace.

Saturday May 27 & Sunday May 28, come and discover the works related to history and share with the 50 authors present. Free entry at the town hall. As part of this book fair, adults and children workshops are organized as well as conferences.

For Americans, Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have died for their country, including those killed in action or wounded in action and who died from their injuries. Two ceremonies are organized in Amfreville, one at 11 a.m. (10 km from the campsite) and one in Colleville sur Mer at 10:30 a.m. (at the American cemetery, 60 km)

On Thursday, June 1, attend this moving moment of exchanges between school children and Veterans. At 2 p.m. on the Utah Beach esplanade.

Book fair WWII Sainte Mère Eglise
dday military camp reenactment

Take advantage of this great Pentecost weekend to spend a moment in these military camps in Carentan, Sainte Marie du Mont, Méautis, Hiesville, Sainte Mère Eglise… Tents, military equipment and vehicles, period attire… A leap in the past awaits you.

From Friday June 2 to Tuesday June 6. For the first time in Normandy, this festival will take place in the Utah Beach sector, with the inauguration at the Landing Museum (75 € / pers.) And the screening of films (Pass 3 films: 30 € / pers.) At the cinema. de Carentan (Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 6 p.m. to midnight). Organized by WWII Foundation.

In Carentan, at 10 am, take part in the conference “Heroes of Carentan”, from 2 pm, attend historic parachuting in the marshes followed by official ceremonies with military parade. At 9 p.m., the UNISSON concert, the benefits of which will go to the wounded soldiers and their families.
At Sainte Mère Eglise, all day long, find clothes, accessories and equipment related to the Second World War at the military purse at the covered market.

A vast program is offered in Carentan, Sainte Mère Eglise, Ecausseville, Utah Beach, Sainte Marie du Mont … You will be spoiled for choice!

Carentan: in the afternoon, concert with music from the 1940s, reconstruction of an exodus, the participants of the Carentan Liberty March will make their entrance and will reconstruct the ceremony of June 23, 1944, followed by a musical and at 9 p.m. of the Liberation Ball.

Saint Marcouf de l’Isle : a stone’s throw from the campsite, the Crisbecq Battery offers a reconstruction of the catch of the Battery in June 1944, all weekend.

Sainte Mère Eglise: Exhibition of military vehicles in the morning, in the afternoon, American brass bands will follow one another on the scene of the church square before going on parade in the city. The Freedom Banquet allows you to share a buffet with the Veterans and soldiers present for these commemorations. Concerts are scheduled in the evening. (the fireworks are exceptionally held on Sunday evening).

Utah Beach: In the evening, concert (take the opportunity to bring your picnic). Then, participate in the commemoration of D-Day by letting a celestial lantern soar.

dday concert

In Carentan, take a look at the military stock exchange to look for objects from the 1939-1945 period, at the cattle market. In the city, a large parade of military vehicles will take place in the morning followed by an exhibition on the Place du Grand Valnoble at noon.

At La Fière, in the marshes, 3 km from Sainte Mère Eglise, come and take part in the reconstruction of historical and military parachuting from vintage planes. About 500 paratroopers of different nationalities will be dropped on these places steeped in history. Unmissable! A ceremony around the Iron Mike Monument will take place after the parachute drops, then the soldiers will enter a parade in Sainte Mère Eglise where they will be greeted by the mayor around 6:00 p.m.

The evening continues at Sainte Mère Eglise with the music and songs competition “radio crochet 1940-1950”. Register alone or with your group, participants will be judge by the amount of applauser! Information from the town hall (02 33 41 31 18). This emotional day ends with fireworks in the church square.

Evening event: on the Normandy coast, from Utah Beach to Ouistreham, 11 fireworks will be launched at the same time around 11:30 p.m.

exodus bike dday parade

In Utah Beach, at 7.45 am, the LCVP Landing Barge on display at Carentan will disembark men in period attire on the beach (depending on the weather).

A stone’s throw from Sainte Mère Eglise, in Neuville au Plain, take part in the “Aux vélos de la Liberté” ride: bikes and clothes from the 1940s recommended for this leap in time. Welcome from 9:15 am for 20km with comments along the paths.

At Sainte Mère Eglise, at noon, take part in the “Normandy Daypicnic: tables are available around the church to allow you to have a good time (grillers on site), all in music!

The choir of American paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne will play military songs, a cappella.

We will be 73 years after D-Day! Many commemorative ceremonies are organized in the different villages.
In particular, the National Commemorative Ceremony of the Allied Landings in Normandy, by the Landing Committee, will take place in Utah Beach. Veterans as well as the French, American and German soldiers will participate. During this period, several historic parachuting will take place, quickly consult the program!

skydiving tandem jump

Tandem parachute jumps

Do you want to try the experience? Tandem parachute jumps are organized over Sainte Mère Eglise and Utah Beach on Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Info from the Tourist Office: 02 33 21 00 33.

Sunday 30 July
On vacation in La Manche French department this summer, take the opportunity to participate in the commemoration of the landing of the 2nd Armored Division of General Leclerc at Utah Beach which will take place in Saint Martin de Varreville.