Minster Stephen Lashley, Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth. (FP)

Barbadians and visitors will be in for a treat next Tuesday, November 1, when activities to mark this country’s 45th anniversary of Independence will kick off with the staging of the Sagicor Inc. Lighting Ceremony and Bajan Folk Brew.

The spectacle will form part of the Community Independence Celebrations, and this year’s theme is Passion, Energy, Power: The Pride of Nationhood, with the sub-theme, "This Little Light of Mine". The Lighting Ceremony will take place in National Heroes Square, the City, beginning at 5:00 p.m., to be followed by the Bajan Folk Brew at 7:00 p.m. Both events are designed to refocus, rejuvenate and stimulate Barbadians to look within themselves and to recognise their national pride.

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, will deliver the feature address, while representative for the City, Patrick Todd, will give the welcome. This year, Barbados and West Indies cricketing legend, the Rev. Dr. Wes Hall will ???flick the switch’ to illuminate the buildings in Broad Street and Swan Street.

The evening’s proceedings will open with a prayer by Rev. Trevor O’Neale of the St. Philip Parish Church. There will be musical renditions by Tamara Marshall, Paula Hinds, the Pathfinders, St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and a Combined Choir; along with performances by the Plantation Dancers and a wind instrument quartet. Margaret Allman Goddard will perform duties as Master of Ceremonies.

Meanwhile, the Bajan Folk Brew will see a potpourri of local talent including a tribute to the ancestors by Adrian Greene; performances by the Pinelands Creative Workshop, and the Combined Folk Chorale; drama by Jesus Army and musical pieces by Kevin Forde, Rankin’ Ricky, and Fat Man. Contestants in the northern, central and southern parishes will show aspects of their projects during the show. The Folk Brew will climax with renditions from some of this island’s leading calypsonians, including Kid Site, Mr. Dale, Blood, Popsicle and Red Plastic Bag, who are expected to delight the crowd with some of their most popular songs. The Master of Ceremonies will be Peter Coppin. All are invited.

The Lighting Ceremony was first conceptualised in 1996 as an initiative between public and private sector agencies to signal the start of Independence Celebrations. Initially, it entailed the lighting of business houses in Bridgetown, one government building in each parish, as well as roundabouts. ??


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