Press briefing on Independence Events – November 18, 2021. (PMO)

A cultural presentation followed by a flotilla will be held as part of the activities to celebrate Barbados’ 55th Anniversary of Independence, on Sunday, November 28, starting at 3:00 p.m.

Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Commodore Errington Ricardo Shurland, disclosed that there will be a “maritime spectacle” entitled “Blue Barbados We Salute You, Culture By The Sea”, during a press conference to highlight the activities leading up to the country’s Independence Day and change to a republic.

Commodore Shurland said the flotilla will sail from the shallow water berth and end in Carlisle Bay. The Barbados Coast Guard; the Royal Barbados Police Force; jet skis; fishing boats; pleasure crafts; motor vessel schooners, and tug boats from the Barbados Port are expected to participate.

The flotilla and cultural presentation, along with other activities to mark Barbados’ 55th Anniversary of Independence and move to a republic, would be televised, and a small number of people would be present at these events, to ensure public safety in a COVID-19 environment.

Minister of Innovation, Science, and Smart Technology, Senator Kay McConney, stated: “We have done everything to make sure that some people will be able to see it live; some people will also be able to see it by live stream…. We have leveraged the technology to ensure that the experience is going to be absolutely wonderful for those who are part of that live stream watching from the comfort of their homes; hopefully dressed in their national colours and celebrating in the way that we have all learned to celebrate and enjoy cultural experiences even since COVID.”

Commodore Shurland added: “The reality is that COVID is here, and COVID is here to stay.  And we have a duty of care to ensure that all events that we plan and execute are conducted in a safe manner as possible, … safety is the bottom line.”

Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation, Carol Roberts-Reifer, also referred to the streaming of events, stating: “All of the national events will be streamed…. We will also be putting up screens at various points across the country. We’ll be giving you those locations as the communications and PR continues for these events in the coming days, so that members of communities can gather safely, and also view the events….

“And so, as we roll out these events, we will also be at every opportunity reminding Barbadians to follow what has now become a way of life; the physical and social distancing, the wearing of masks in public places, the constant sanitisation and washing of hands, and together we can do this. We can figuratively hold each other’s hands and get through this massive period of celebration safely.”

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