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Aug 14, 2018

Festivities to be Pared Down, Is Party Politics Being Played with the Tenth?

In speaking with Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber this morning, News Five was made to understand that the overall budget for this year’s festivities has taken a hit, Belize City not being the only municipality that will be affected.  The cutback, says the Chair of the National Celebrations Commission, is due in part to a reduction in monies granted by the Taiwanese government to the N.C.C.  Notwithstanding that phase-down, other options are being explored to host an event that will not bear the city council trademark.  Deputy Mayor Arnold says that an official ceremony, as well as the traditional Citizens Parade will still be held on the Tenth of September.

 

Oscar Arnold, Deputy Mayor, Belize City

Oscar Arnold

“For the past five years the municipality here in Belize has been receiving the same amount every year.  This is the first year that it’s been cut by twenty percent over the last five years and this is something that you budget for or you should budget for and so, you didn’t know that you were going to lose the elections when you were budgeting last year.  So I really can’t say for sure. From an outsider looking in in the previous years, the Tenth has gotten smaller and smaller and with this year, like I said, with the budget being cut by twenty percent we had to see what we could do.  There are other activities that will cover that people might want to attend on that day.  We have the carnival and the J’Ouvert, everything that will be prior to the tenth this year, so there’s quite a bit of activities that still will be happening.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You’re attempting to separate or perhaps you’re attempting to lump together what should be an individual celebration.  If you’re saying to me that I have the J’ouvert and the carnival celebration in lieu of something that should have happened on the Tenth, as a separate day, then you’re basically trying to sell me the whole thing as opposed to one aspect of it.”

 

Oscar Arnold

“But the September Celebrations is just that; it’s not only the Tenth, it’s not only the Twenty-first.  The Twenty-first is our national day, but all these events have become a great part of what we do or what we celebrate as Belizeans come September.  And what I am saying is that there are other events leading up to this event, we will still pay homage, we do have the official ceremonies, the parade that takes place on that day.  As far as I know, on the calendar of activities, there is an event that will be hosted at the Big Bird’s Isle.  So what I am saying is, instead of having competing events, we had to look at how we would try to stretch whatever we received from NICH.”

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