Japan surrendered to the allies of World War II on 15 August. Immediately schools and businesses in Palmerston North were closed and celebrations, many informal, began. A thanksgiving service was held that afternoon, followed by a victory parade the next day. The parade attracted a big turnout of civilians and defence personnel, a flotilla of 130 vehicles of all kinds, and a huge number of spectators lining the streets. The procession began at the Police Station and went around The Square, lead by the Manawatu Scottish Society’s Highland Pipe Band. The City, Garrison and Salvation Army bands also took part. The parade was followed by community sing-song led from the Band Rotunda.