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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Grenadians celebrate 50th anniversary of independence

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Grenada marks half a century of independence on Wednesday 7 February. Activities for this momentous anniversary, celebrating the country’s culture, history and people, actually began on 31 October when Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell launched the events programme at the Carenage in St George’s.

The overall theme of the celebrations is ‘One People, One Journey, One Future’, which is intended to capture both the painful history of slavery and colonialism, and the resilience, strength and determination that achieved a free, independent Grenada. The theme song, Grenada 50 – Up from Here, was written by Akino ‘Tallis’ Romain, Ryan ‘Riggy Atmosphere’ DeRiggs and Ahkim ‘Sway Jean’ Baptiste and expresses the spirit of Grenada’s strength and progress towards a bright future.

The events listed below build on the momentum generated by various celebrations held over the past 10 weeks. There will be plenty more to come in the lead-up to Independence Day itself.

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Calypso-lovers can look forward to the Independence Calypso Monarch finals on 27 January, preceded by a gospel concert on 21 January.

On 28 January the fit and competitive can take part in the Round the Island Flag Relay and Parish Sports event, which takes in cycling, running, swimming and sailing, and on 1 February sports personalities will be recognised at the 50th Anniversary National Sports Awards.

Art-lovers have their moment with the launch of the 50th Independence Historic and Arts Exhibition on 30 January. All Things Grenada – 50th Independence Expo will be held on 2 February in conjunction with Up from Here – The Music Concert.

On 3 February the Governor General will preside over the exclusive Governor General Gala Cocktail and Dance gala. Two days later, another grand event will be the cocktail reception for visiting dignitaries and invited guests hosted by the Foreign Minister under the title ‘Grenada beyond 50: A Vision for the Future’.

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Two events will take place on 4 February: St Paul’s Independence Extravaganza and Grenada 50th Anniversary of Independence Ecumenical Church Service.

On 6 February, two more events are scheduled: National Colours Day and the 50th Anniversary of Independence Foreign Minister’s Reception. The golden jubilee celebrations come to a head on Wednesday 7 February when the National Stadium will be the venue for a military parade and a packed programme of entertainment throughout the day.

But it’s not over even then, for folk culture will take centre stage at the Carenage in St George’s and attendees are encouraged to dress traditionally. Finally, on 10 February steelpan music and Grenadian cuisine become the focus of attention in Pan50 and Foodfest.

For more info, visit the Grenada Turns 50 website.

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