May 4 military parade for Madona

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A military parade will take place on May 4 in Madona, central Latvia, the Ministry of Defense said May 2, giving details of the event.

The parade of military hardware and personnel will give a chance for people who do not make it to the traditional November 18 independence day military parade in Rīga to enjoy the pomp and spectacle in the regions, the ministry explained.

Regional parades on May 4 - restoration of independence day - started in 2012 in Rēzekne, followed by 2013 in Kuldīga, 2014 in Valmiera, 2015 in Jelgava, 2016 in Krāslava and last year in Liepāja.  

"Come on, let's celebrate together!" said the ministry. The parade will also be broadcast live on Latvian Television and during the course of the day the venue for next year's parade will be revealed.

The parade will start at 11.00 and the event will involve around 700 representatives of Latvian and foreign armed forces, the State Border Guard, the State Police, the State Fire-fighting and Rescue Service and the Young Guard cadets.

President Raimonds Vējonis, Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and Commander of the National Armed Forces Lieutenant General Leonid Kalninš will all be in attendance and a display of military equipment will run throughout the day including items from the Spanish, Canadian, Slovenian and Albanian armed forces as well as recent acquisitions by the Latvian armed forces in the substantial shape of self-propelled howitzers purchased from Austria.

If weather conditions prove favorable there will also be flyovers from Latvian and U.S. helicopters.

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