The 2006 September Celebrations have come and gone but what a festive month it was for Belizeans! This year’s celebrations marked the 25th anniversary of Belize’s Independence, and to commemorate this historic occasion a variety of activities and events were held for all Belizeans and visitors to enjoy. The hub of activities was in Belize City, but San Pedro had its fair share of spectacular events which culminated with a massive parade.
Some highlights on La Isla Bonita included an Block Party on Barrier Reef Drive. All through the night, Belizeans and visitors congregated at the Central Park for the official ceremonies and grand cultural entertainment. The midnight “grito” by Mayor Elsa Paz followed the ceremonious unfurling of the flag at midnight. After Belize officially turned 25, shouts of “Happy Independence Day Belize! Happy Independence Day San Pedro! Long Live Belize!” could be heard from the crowd. The audience cheered loudly and excitement mounted as a sensational fireworks display followed. The sky was lit up with a dynamic display of fireworks; its booms and bangs transcended all over town and people no doubt had a blast. Everyone enjoyed themselves celebrating the 25th birthday of Belize until the wee hours of the morning.
Independence Day was topped off with a colossal parade down the main streets of San Pedro, where hundreds lined the streets to view the great floats and enjoy the great music and dancing. The parade began when the fire engine sounded its horn, signaling the commencement of the parade. Following the fire engine was a large enthusiastic bunch that formed the grand Independence Day Parade. Many businesses, schools and revelers joined in one of the biggest parades in San Pedro history. A fantastic marching band from Honduras’ Instituto Romulo E. Duron also joined the parade this year, adding some great musical adaptations to the parade. People’s United Party Standard Bearer Mel Spain also took part in the parade with her very own enthusiastic group. The Belize Bank and Alliance Bank were very animated as they danced through the main streets of La Isla Bonita. The school children all looked sharp in their uniforms, as they enthusiastically waved their flags as they marched through the streets. Reef Radio was also among the top floats this year, with their very colorful and enthusiastic crowd.
During the parade, judges were assigned the difficult task of observing the many floats and choose winners. “Best float” and $300 prize was won by Reef Radio. They proved to be the most creative, with their float consisting of past Miss San Pedro beauties from twenty five years ago to the present. The lovely ladies were all dressed in white gowns and sat atop the grand float, waving at spectators along the way. St. Peter’s school placed second and won $200 with their students representing the Father of the Nation, Right Honorable George Cadle Price and Queen Elizabeth, plus the Belize Defense Force. Isla Bonita Elementary took third and received $100 with their float representing all the cultures that make up our unique nation. In the “Best Organized Float” category, ABC pre-school participants won $500 for their endless creativity, fun and lively participation. Second prize was $350, and was won by Reef Radio; third prize was $150, and was won by San Pedro High School.
Upon the culmination of the parade at Central Park, people were able to enjoy some great food, cold beverages and good music courtesy of Rompe Raja. Independence Day 2006 proved spectacular and sure went down in the history books as one of the best ever.