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Bayeux on D-Day Anniversary

I didn't realize it when I started my planning or made all the reservations, but my grandson and I will be in Bayeux from June 5, 2016 until June 7, 2016. If I do the math correctly, that's the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

I've been to Normandy before--staying in Bayeux and seeing the historical sights. However, I have no idea what impact the anniversary will have on the town and area. Has anyone been there on a D-Day anniversary? What special events and/or activities might we be able to enjoy?

FYI, I've already booked an all day D-Day tour with OverLord Tours and our hotel.

Thanks in advance,
Rich

Posted by
8293 posts

If no one here has an answer for you, get in touch with Overlord Tours or even your hotel.

Posted by
9873 posts

My guess from having witnessed from afar (i.e. from Paris) the ceremonies etc for the 70th is that being there for the anniversary on an "off" year will be enjoyable and interesting. I think you will get to see some ceremonies or celebrations that only happen at anniversary time without having the hassle of one of the "big" years (ending in 0 or 5) and all the dignitaries, etc. Especially since you've already booked your hotel and your tours. The next thing will be to secure your transportation arrangements; if arriving by train, you'll need to wait until the summer 2016 tickets become available from the SNCF, or rent suitably far ahead of time for a rental car.

As Norma says, Overlord can probably give you the best advice, though! As can your hotel, I would imagine. They will both have been in the business for big anniversary years and those in between and can give you some idea of what to expect.

Posted by
32266 posts

rab,

I can also only offer a "view from afar" perspective, but have a few thoughts to add. I've asked Normandy guides about the anniversary celebrations and this is a general idea of what they said.....

  • some of the sights will be extremely busy, with lots of people, dignitaries, etc.
  • some sights may be closed on the 6th, or restricted in some way, in order for ceremonies to take place there.
  • it's good that you've already got a tour booking, as some guides take that day "off" so that they can also attend the ceremonies.
  • it's good that you've already got a hotel booking, as hotel space is in short supply in places close to the action (ie: Bayeux).

Depending on which of the sights will be hosting ceremonies next year, you may not notice any changes at some places and visitor numbers will be at the usual levels.

Posted by
117 posts

Thank you all. I'll be checking with OverLord Tours and the hotel.

Posted by
139 posts

We were in Normandy June 4th to June 7th in 2010 - D-Day's 56th anniversary. There were many activities going on at the 'obvious' places - the American cemetery/memorial behind Omaha - a memorial paratroop drop at St Mere-Eglise - re-enactors at all the beaches (and on all the roads!) - etc. Overland Tours will know best what activities will be occurring during your visit.

Not only are there local re-enactors but there are active duty contingents from the various nations that were involved. We spoke with some of the American paratroopers who had participated in the memorial drop a couple of days earlier who were visiting Omaha beach and earlier some French active duty military at another location.

The most moving thing that I saw were the re-enactors placing flowers at the Colleville-sur-Mer cemetery. which was probably not on any schedule.