Many spectators line Broad Street in Bridgetown, as the Barbados Cadet Corps Band marches by into Independence Square, today, at the beginning of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Launch. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Thousands Pack Independence Square

Many spectators line Broad Street in Bridgetown, as the Barbados Cadet Corps Band marches by into Independence Square, today, at the beginning of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Launch. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Thousands of Barbadians and visitors flocked to Bridgetown today to be a part of history as Government launched celebrations to mark this country’s 50th Anniversary of Independence.

From as early as 3:00 p.m., persons started arriving in Independence Square and lined the Chamberlain Bridge and Charles Duncan O’Neal Bridge to secure every available vantage point to see the parade of youth uniformed groups.

A flotilla, which was led by the Coast Guard vessel HMBS Excellence, arrived in the Careenage at 5:40 p.m. with the oldest active fisherman, 91-year-old Fred Watson, and the oldest seafarer, 74-year-old Albert Broomes, on board.

They handed over the commemorative Broken Trident to the youngest Sea Cadet, Ordinary Seaman Chenicia Cummins, and Sea Scout, Daniel Thomas. They, in turn, presented it to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who gave it to St. George Parish Ambassadors, Jalissa Proverbs and Justin Clarke.

During the near three-hour programme, Prime Minister Stuart addressed the nation and then some of Barbados’ outstanding entertainers took to the stage. They included Shontelle & Natahlee, Rupee, Peter Ram, Biggie Irie, Gabby, RPB, and Adrian Clarke.

Barbados will celebrate its 50th Anniversary of Independence on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Some of the Iconic Events scheduled to mark this milestone are: a Trident Run from Independence Square to Glebe, St. George, on January 21; From Bussa to Barrow and Beyond, a production in honour of the bicentennial of the Bussa Rebellion on April 16; the launch of the Barbados National Park on June 1; a 20/20 Cricket Match in honour of the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers; and the Prime Minister’s Dinner and Ball in honour of 50 outstanding Barbadians on November 28.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb