Jekabpils hosts May 4 military parade

May 4 will see the town of Jekabpils hosting the annual military parade in celebration of the 29th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia.

Since 2012 the parade has taken place in a different town or city to give the regions a taste of the parade that always takes place November 18 in Rīga to mark the proclamation of the Latvian Republic for the first time in 1918. 

The first such day took place in 2012 in Rezekne and a year later in Kuldiga. In 2014, the Armed Forces celebrated in Valmiera and in 2015, the celebration happened in Jelgava. 2016 was the turn of  Kraslava, in 2017 it was Liepaja and last year it took place in Madona.

The city in which the Armed Forces will be held in 2020 will be announced in Jekabpils.

This year's event will see more than 700 soldiers, national guards, border guards, police officers, firefighters and others participate, including representatives of Latvia's NATO allies. One of the highlights will be a fly-by featuring both helicopters and jets.

President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks and Commander of the National Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Leonid Kalnins will all be in attendance alongside local dignitaries. Outside the parade itself, which will start at 11:00,  members of the public will have the chance to meet members of the armed forces, get hands-on with some of the military hardware and watch demonstrations of various skills. 

The parade will also be broadcast and streamed live on Latvian Television.

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