THE organizers for the activities marking Saint Lucia’s 37th Independence anniversary want Saint Lucians to immerse themselves in the moments of celebration, especially during the upcoming long weekend.
Sporting and cultural events dominate this weekend’s many activities, beginning with National Colours Day tomorrow and ending with the SLAM concert on Monday afternoon featuring an all-Saint Lucian cast of artistes, Teddyson John, Ricky T, Sweet Kay and the Derek Yarde Project (DYP) and others.
Below is a list of some of the other activities Saint Lucians are being urged to be part of this Independence weekend.
• Ecumenical Service – Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
• St. Aloysius R.C. Boys’ Infant Road race – Castries Circuit
• Independence Bikers Extravaganza – Castries
• Independence Bayfest – Rodney Bay
• Miss Independence 2016 – National Cultural Centre
• Independence Volleyball Championship – Beausejour Indoor Practice Facility
• Roseau Valley & South Castries Youth & Sports Council Creole Spelling Competition – Marigot Secondary School
• Independence Challenge – Around the island
• Mon Repos Road Relay – Mon Repos
• Babonneau Youth & Sports Council Edurama Fair – Babonneau Playing Field
• Lobster & Seafood Fiesta – Castries Fisheries
• Carenage Craze – Castries Waterfront
• Naming of the new hospital – Millennium Heights
• Cocktail Reception – Prime Minister’s Official
• Military Parade – Mindoo Phillip Park
• Cultural Expo – Mindoo Phillip Park
• National Celebratory Rally – Mindoo Phillip Park
• JETE Dance Competition – Mindoo Phillip Park
Creative consultant in the Ministry of Creative Industries, Christopher Hunte, told The VOICE yesterday that this year’s activities are both inclusive and spirited. He said that while Independence activities are an annual norm, Saint Lucians need to “be part of the one birthday we all celebrate together.”
“People need to be involved in the celebrations; not only to enjoy them but to also give ideas going forward as to how to improve upon them,” Hunte said. “We want all generations to take part to really rally around each other.”
Hunte said that while all countries “are not really independent in the truest sense” – he cited every country’s dependence on another via various means – the moment calls for citizens to rally together in the interest of the country’s overall development.
This year’s Independence is being observed under the theme, “The Journey Continues”. Since February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia and Saint Lucians have inarguably made bold strides in many spheres. However, many people feel that the citizenry needs a great measure of rejuvenation and a deeper appreciation for the Saint Lucian identity.
Over the past week, many government and private buildings have been decorated with the colours of the national flag. Some sidewalks have even gotten a fresh coat of paint and many people have been donning their national colours. Despite the outward appearances, though, Hunte says Saint Lucians need to reach deep within and exude their national pride.