Thousands of Barbadians and visitors alike are expected to descend on Bridgetown tomorrow, Wednesday, January 6, for the official launch of the year-long celebrations to mark Barbados??? 50th Anniversary of Independence.

The event, which will include a parade on land and sea, fireworks and a multimedia concert, will officially begin at 5:00 p.m. with a parade from Redman Drive to Independence Square.

Participating in the parade will be uniformed youth groups, such as the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme, the Barbados Cadet Corps, the Boy Scouts Association, Girl Guides Association, Barbados Red Cross Society, Seventh-Day Adventist Pathfinders, Barbados Youth Service and the Barbados Landship.

Prior to this, around 4:30 p.m., some 2,500 students from nursery, primary and secondary schools across the island will line the parade route from Jubilee Gardens, through Broad Street to Charles Duncan O???Neal Bridge, while guests are expected to be seated in Independence Square.

The launch coincides with the Feast of the Epiphany, which traditionally marked the start of the church???s liturgical year. The 50th Anniversary of Independence is expected to signal a year of reflection and celebration.

At the end of the parade, which culminates in Independence Square, the commemorative Broken Trident will arrive on board a Barbados Coast Guard vessel, accompanied by a flotilla of watercraft, and will be carried ashore by the oldest active fisherman and seafarer.

They will hand the Broken Trident to the youngest Sea Scout and Sea Cadet, who in turn will pass it on to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Mr. Stuart will pass it to the St. George Parish Ambassadors.

The multimedia concert will get under way at 6:00 p.m. under the theme: Barbados We Come From. Performers will include Rupee, Shontelle, Gabby, RPB, Emile Straker, Fiona Alleyne, Ian Webster, the Warrior, Zukeli Inniss, the St. Leonard???s Boys??? and Coleridge and Parry School Choirs and the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.

Author: Kathy Husbands/Ian Inniss

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