Islanders were in high spirits as they celebrated the country’s 28th birthday on September 21st. The party had commenced a week prior with activities throughout the days. Bowen and Bowen presented their Belikin Bash and a slew of Belizean artists descended on the island celebrating our culture and music.
Bringing in the big day, the San Pedro Town Council prepared the town’s official ceremonies which started at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday. Leading the walk to Central Park were torch bearers represented by The San Pedro Sun who were followed by Miss San Pedro Raquel Badillo and Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. Once at the park, the Coast Guard was welcomed and inspected by Honorable Heredia and her Worship Mayor Elsa Paz. As the Belizean flag was raised, el grito de la independencia (the Independence shout) resonated through the park and seconds later the sky lit up with a fabulous firework display. The block party continued on Barrier Reef Drive and revelers properly celebrated the festivities as they visited the various booths.
The following day, a parade full of colors took over La Isla Bonita. Floats, costumes, music, beads and dancers took over the streets as they danced and celebrated. The red, white and blue was proudly waved as streamers and balloons swayed in the air. Confetti blasted and even a live bird made a special appearance to celebrate the birthday. Through it all, judges looked on and winners are as follows: Best Float – 1st place, E & L Butane/Varela’s - $750; 2nd place, ABC - $500, 3rd place, Ambergris Caye Elementary - $350 Best Organized Group – 1st place, ABC supported by Island Academy - $1,000; 2nd place, E & L Butane/Varela’s - $750; 3rd, Reef Radio - $500.
This year, the Independence celebrations were great as our Diverse Origins, Common Aspirations were highlighted as Together we celebrated as Belizeans.