By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN exciting calendar of events has been prepared for this year's independence celebrations.
Activities began on Friday leading up to Independence Day on July 10.
This year's theme is ‘United We Stand Bahamas, Together We Can.’
Mark Humes, MP for Fort Charlotte and chairman of the Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, said the events being hosted this year are geared towards the” general public versus toward the dignitary”. He highlighted two new events in the calendar - the National Pride Folk Festival and the new flagraising events.
Mr Humes said: “There are two events that we are having that will be a first-time event in the celebration. The events that we have planned in particular are the National Pride Folk Festival downtown.
“We wanted to make it more open to the public coming in, so we want Bahamians to know this is really for them. We understand this is the Bahamian independence celebration, so we wanted to make this more about the Bahamian public more so than anything else.”
He added: “We recognised in years gone by we would try to combine the flag raising and pride day celebration into one event and most times that happened on a work day. Fortunately for us this year, we were able to move [Pride Day] to Saturday and we wanted to make it a festival kind of event to encourage people to come out and participate.
“The close-out concert is new as well and we decided that because in the past it would seem as if Independence ended with no sort of celebration, so we decided to end the night with a concert.”
The activities are as follows:
Friday, July 5
Official launch: 10am -1pm, Rawson and Parliament Square
Flag raising ceremony: 6pm, Sarah Ingraham, Mason's Addition, Englerston, Christie, Fox Hill, Salem, Nassau Village, Pinewood and Cynthia Mother Pratt Park.
Saturday, July 6
National Pride Folk Festival: 10am-8pm, Pompey and Marlborough Square
Sunday, July 7
Beat Retreat: 5.30pm, Parliament and Rawson Squares
Live Performances by: The Royal Bahamas Police Force; The Royal Bahamas Defence Force; The Bahamas Correctional Services Band
Tuesday, July 9
Grand Anniversary Celebrations: 8pm, Clifford Park
Ecumenical Service- Cultural Short-changed
Wednesday, July 10
The People’s Love and Unity Rush: 1pm, Bay Street
Independence Close-out Concert Celebration, Clifford Park
Gospel Concert 7pm-9pm
Secular Concert 9pm- midnight