The Belize Defense Force celebrated its 34th anniversary this year with last Friday's passing out parade of new recruits. And as tradition would have it, the following day ought to have been celebrated with the popular open day fair. But heavy rains made for wet field conditions, and the fair had to be postponed for this coming Saturday, February 11th. But as the saying goes, 'every dark cloud has its silver lining'. As a result of the postponement, the BDF has increased its gate prize winnings from 2 Thousand dollars to 3 Thousand Four hundred dollars, giving the public even more reasons to attend this Saturday. Two soldiers of merit told us more:..

Lieutenant Justine Swift, BDF
"The raffle tickets are out right now. Every soldier is selling raffle tickets. We have raffle tickets at several different establishments. It a dollar to participate and that dollar qualifies you to win one of the 15 prizes which the first prize as I mention which is $3,400."

"We have a round trip to anywhere in the US among several other prizes."

Jim McFadzean
"The BDF open day has been a very popular day amongst the public. Any different, in terms of the attractions this year? Any thing has been added?"

Warrant Officer, CL II, Saebot Cayetano, BDF
"This year we have some rides, we have bumper cars and all that. We have the traditional mock-battle display and other display that the recruits will be doing. We actually have a silent drill display, which will have soldiers doing drill without being commanded very much."

"We also have our swimming pool; we have an Olympic size swimming pool that we will be giving the public access to on that day. We have other competitions. We have family oriented competitions; mother and daughter and father and son competitions. We will have all kinds of races, we will have people pushing 4 ton trucks and every one of these competition have prizes attached to them."

Lieutenant Justine Swift, BDF
"On top of that we also have the dance. It has been change from the initial location which has always been Price Barracks to ITVET. It's kind of closer to Belize City and since we are in the spirit of giving away a lot of prizes and you know we are celebrating our 34th anniversary, s going to the dance automatically qualifies you to win a residential lot in the Lord's Bank area."

"We have a quite lineup of artists; we have Chico Ramos, we have Reckless and so we turn it into a concert."

Jim McFadzean
"Where does the proceeds from this open day and the dance end up?"

Lieutenant Justine Swift, BDF
"We have a welfare fund which takes care of soldiers in times of need whether it be medical or it be bereavement. So all this money we are raising for this open day goes into that welfare fund that help looks after our soldiers and their welfare."

As in previous years, the BDF will be providing free transportation to Price Barracks.

Channel 7