Emancipation Day theme: How free are we?

POSTED: 06/21/13 12:28 PM

Committee announces program cultural manifestation  

St. Maarten – Emancipation Day, Monday July 1, is an official holiday and all stores will be closed for the 150th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery presented its program during a press conference yesterday.

“This is a significant day in history,” culture Minister Patricia Lourens said. It is 150 years ago that our ancestors became free people. This is a day we must never forget. More than 50 million people became the victim of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. On Emancipation day we will honor and remember those that suffered and died.”

The chair of the Emancipation Day Committee, Arlena Sprott announced that the theme for the celebration is: 150 years: How free are we?

Road closures will already be in place on Sunday, June 30. The Pondfill will be blocked from the post office to the Salt Pickers roundabout, the Peterson Street between the government administration building and the police station and the Soualiga Boulevard from the Census Office towards the Salt Pickers roundabout will also be closed. Parking will remain available behind the new and still unfinished government building opposite the university and on the also unfinished ring road.

The day  will begin at 9 a.m. with an ecumenical service at the Philipsburg Methodist Church followed by wreath laying ceremonies at the One Tete Lohkay and Freedom Fighter monuments from 10.15 to 11 a.m.

In the afternoon the Emancipation Parade begins at 2.30 p.m. at the Freedom Fighter monument opposite the courthouse on the Cyrus Wathey Square. The procession treks through Front street towards the Emmaplein, Juancho Yrasquin Boulevard, the Freedom Fighter monument, the Walter Nisbeth Road and ends at the Salt Pickers roundabout.

Parade groups are Dancing Divas, Soualiga Jump Up Brass Band, Extreme Prevention Team, Capoeira, St. Maarten Dance Theater, the Moravian Church and Generation New Status STM.

From 2.45 p.m. there is a performance by the Shabba Djembe Drummers at this location. From 3 p.m. there are speeches by dignitaries whose names are not mentioned in the program, and presentations by Rene Violenus, the dazzling divas and Peter Lake.

Then everybody joins the Emancipation Parade and heads towards the Salt Pickers roundabout. The cultural manifestation on this location begins at 12.30 p.m. and closes off at 9 p.m.

Master of ceremonies at the event is Rolando Bryson. There are stage performances by Percy Rankin & Bonfire Band, Rey y Su Grupo, Sunshine, La’ Rich Arts Entertainment, Ebony Steel Orchestra featuring The Mighty Dow, Still Statues, National Institute of The Arts, Juliana Alexander, Dance Theatre of St. Maarten, Freedom Fighters featuring Sister Marlene Seagan and Ku-J, Rene Violenus, Peter Lake, All Stars Band featuring Lil’ Blossom, Fish Da Mega Boss, Lil’ Roxy, King Beau Beau, Kaiso Brat, and Young Calixte.

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