Roses Square, May 26, 2012

From last year’s celebration at Roses Square, Tbilisi. (DFWatch photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Preparations are ongoing in Georgia for the Independence Day celebration Sunday, May 26.

Government officials say there will not be a military parade through the capital as there has been in the past. Instead, there will be held different events by the Defense Ministry.

Several main streets in Tbilisi will be blocked on Sunday due to the celebration: Rustaveli Avenue, Freedom Square, Pushkin Street, Kote Abkhazi Street, Roses Square and others.

From noon, the Defense Minister, Head of the Joint Staff, Chief Sergeant of Georgia’s armed forces will attend the ceremony of oath and congratulate graduates of the military with their preparations for joining the armed forces.

There will also be a demonstration by the National Guard at Freedom Square in Tbilisi, while a military orchestra will march down Rustaveli Avenue.

An oath ceremony will also be held in Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city and seat of parliament.

Exhibitions of military equipment will be organized in eleven cities and towns all over Georgia.

A military orchestra will hold concerts in two districts of Tbilisi.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs also has planned events for May 26 and will display different equipment in Tbilisi and other regions of Georgia. The ministry will exhibit 13 different types of vehicles, fire fighting and diving equipment.

Events will start at noon in every city and town and will end at 21:30 with fireworks and the national anthem.

It is unknown whether President Saakashvili will attend the celebration. In earlier statements he said he will celebrate Independence Day in the company of Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Saakashvili is invited to a May 26 reception, but he didn’t specify any details. Several government officials have earlier noted that the president is welcome to attend as an ordinary citizen.

The last nine years, Saakashvili’s governments have held a military parade on May 26, where the president as Commander In-chief of the country attended the military parade. Last year, the parade was held in Kutaisi in front of the new parliament building.

Georgia announced its independence May 26, 1918.