An escalated annual Independence Day parade will highlight the celebration of Barbados’ 52nd anniversary on Friday, November 30.
This year, as it was on the 50th anniversary in 2016, the parade will be held at the iconic Kensington Oval.
Mottley administration first celebration
This is the first celebration of independence under the Mia Mottley administration which was elected earlier this year, and she intends to make it a memorable event.
Planning this year’s celebration, Mottley decided Barbadians would celebrate Independence Day. She decided the annual parade would involve greater participation by people of all walks of life whether watching, attending, or actively participating in the parade.
Entitled “We Barbados”, the parade will travel through Bridgetown onto Heroes Square then to Kensington Oval. The government estimates some 11,000 people will attend the event, including 5,000 school children from across the island.
The parade is planned to include over a thousand people, including community groups, sporting and cultural icons, life-sized portraits of national heroes, vendors serving traditional Barbadian items, students taking part in cultural activities and a special guest performance by The General, Edwin Yearwood.
More than a parade
Prime Minister Mottley said beginning from 8:00 am on Friday, Nov 30 Barbadians at home or abroad will witness via live stream “more than a parade” in celebration of the country’s 52nd Independence anniversary.
Last week, on her Instagram page, Mottley extended ”a personal invitation to all Barbadians to converge on Kensington Oval on Friday, November 30th to celebrate our 52nd anniversary of Independence. This year it will be more than just a parade.” Following the parade. She’ll present her official national Independence-Day address.
The Independence Parade was traditionally held at the Garrison Savannah or in the Bridgetown Port.
History of Barbados independence
November 30 commemorates the enactment of the Barbados Independence Act 1966, that granted the island independence from Great Britain.
From its history as a British (sugar) Colony from 1627, Barbados secured self-government under the British in 1949.
From 1958 to 1962 Barbados was a member of the West Indies Federation. That Federation collapsed in 1962 with Barbados reverting to self-governing colony status.
However, under the leadership of Eric Barrow, Father of the Nation, negotiations commenced in June 1966 for political independence from Britain. Ultimately, the island was granted independence on November 30, 1966, and Barrow became the first prime miinster of the nation.