San Pedro Celebrates Township Day

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 42            December 2, 2004

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Last Thursday, the Reef Radio's Morning Show, proudly played a videotape, which recorded the official Township celebrations when San Pedro was declared a town, 20 years ago in 1984. In 1999, Pedro Graniel found the tape in a garbage can. It was then given to Aiden Salazar at Reef Radio. He in turn gave it to David Marin, who in an attempt to preserve the tape, placed it in a plastic storage bag and then sealed it in a Zip lock bag. Mr. Marin admits forgetting about the tape until Hurricane Keith damaged his home. He found the tape laying in several inches of water, but unharmed. It is believed Reynaldo Guerrero, a former taxi driver, recorded the video. The tape, remarkably well preserved, beautifully records the first Township celebration and proves to be an important historical document, to be cherished for years to come.

    The first part of the tape contained footage of the grand parade through the streets of San Pedro Town and the second section showed the actual ceremonies of the day. Residents were given the opportunity on Saturday to see the tape in its entirety, when it was played on Channel 7, bringing back memories and laughter of days gone by.

    Last weekend, San Pedro Town celebrated its 20th year as a town. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) opted to have a parade through the streets of "La Isla Bonita" just like in the video. 20 years ago, the entire town came out in full force to celebrate in this special day. This year, parade participants included sister-town Chetumal with her Mexican Marching Bands. The San Pedro High School Marching Band also showed their great spirit and enthusiasm as they took part in the festivities. In full force were the San Pedro Roman Catholic School students along with Lion Stephen Manuel. It was a short but very spirited parade that all enjoyed.

    20 years ago, the ceremonies include speeches and the participation of the Solid Gold Dancers who displayed their creative and talented moves. This year, Mayor Elsa Paz acknowledged and presented Certificates to past Mayors of San Pedro Town. Special recognition was given to each one for the changes they brought to our beautiful island. The San Pedro Dance Company, Garifuna Dancers along with the mini-Barbies danced to the crowd's delight. A special treat was enjoyed when the Folkloric Dance Group of Quintana Roo took center stage.

    The Mighty Super Furia Band and the talented Andy Palacio provided lively music through the night. With much music and beats, the crowd had no other choice but to get on their feet and show their own dance moves.

    It was a festive affair that will surely be remembered 20 years from now.
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