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Sep 20, 2012

Hip! Hip! Happy Independence Day!

Independence celebrations kick off shortly.  In the Old Capital, a throng of spectators is expected to converge at the Memorial Park where entertainment begins at nine o’clock tonight and will be aired live on this station.  The festivities will lead up to midnight when the annual flag raising is set to take place to be followed by the fireworks.  An official ceremony is also scheduled for Friday morning in the Garden City where the Prime Minister, the Mayor of Belmopan, dignitaries and other invited guests will participate in the formalities.  According to president of the National Institute of Culture and History, Diane Haylock, there is a full itinerary that promises something for everyone.

 

Diane Haylock, President, NICH

Diane Haylock

“Things get on the way about nine o’clock, you know, there is an action pack cultural entertainment agenda that begins at nine o’clock and that runs through until about 11:25[pm].  At 11:25 in a way the official part of the ceremony actually begins, because that is when we have the march-on by the Belize Defense Force.  Then a couple minutes after that we have the arrival of the mayor, the mayor arrives first and then the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice and the Prime Minister and the Governor General.  The Governor General actually arrives about a quarter to twelve and then he does his usual inspection of the guard of honor and then he goes back to the seating here.  And just before that twelve o’clock hour the five main officials step forward and the BDF then began the process of raising the flag and if all works well the flag will be up at the top of the poll promptly at twelve o’clock.  And you know that at twelve o’clock there is a gun salute that accompanies the flag having been raised and immediately after the gun salute the fireworks begin.  We have approximately thirty minutes of fireworks, you know, happening out over the sea and so yeah, that is tonight’s program. Belmopan is the official ceremony.  That begins, that gets on the way with cultural entertainment from the Belmopan Choral Society and that entertainment period begins about 9:30 in the morning [at] Independence Plaza, in front of the National Assembly Building.  The B.D.F. marches on at 10:10 and then you have the usual arrivals, the Mayor of the City of Belmopan, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice and then the Prime Minister and Governor General.  The Governor General gets there about 10:30, he does his usual inspection of the guard of honor and then everybody goes to their seat and the ceremonies immediately start there.”

 

An Independence Day ceremony led by Mayor Darrell Bradley is also scheduled for Belize City at nine in the morning, followed by the annual uniform parade through the principal streets after which a Street Fete takes place on Albert and Regent Streets. 

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