“Forging Ahead Together for Continued National Development”.
That is the theme selected for the island’s 2017 Independence celebrations.
The logo which encompasses, the cocoa, nutmeg, national dove and the flag was designed by Annil Holder, a young Imani student who is from Grand Roy, St. John’s.
Grenada’s 43rd independence anniversary celebration will begin officially on January 2 when the National Environment & Beautification Campaign will kick off.
The events will climax on February 7th with the Independence Day Celebrations to be highlighted by a Military Parade, Cultural Display and Made in Grenada Exposition at the National sports stadium at Queen’s Park in St. George’s.
Speaking to reporters last week, Chairperson of the Celebrations Committee, Ann-Marie Marecheau made a plea to Grenadians for their full participation and support of the activities planned in order to ensure the success of the 2017 celebration.
“We allow for everybody both locally and in the Diaspora to be part of the opportunity …and also on the day to be present to celebrate. It is our birthday and we will be having a big shebang on the 7th of February and preceding the 7th of February…”, she said.
According to Marecheau as soon as the Christmas period is over “we are going to be blazing this country with our national colours”.
“We are asking you, in all of the villages, in all of the towns and in all of the parishes to help us blaze the country. All we are going to be seeing is the colours – red, green and gold – that’s only what we want to see throughout the nation, as we drive around,” she said.
Stating that last year, La Potrie was recognised for their contribution to the beautification of the island, the Chairperson urged all villages around the island to rise to the challenge and to show their patriotism.
She told reporters: “In January we are going to be erecting a billboard in La Potrie for their dedication and commitment to our 2016 independence celebrations. So villages, towns, parishes, don’t let La Potrie get it again in 2017.
“Don’t miss this opportunity, be involved to decorate your villages, do it better than La Potrie and of course you would be having a billboard in your village. We will also be honouring the best villages come Independence Day based on how you decorate your villages. So in 2017 (there will be) first, second, third prizes in addition to the billboard (that) will be given to villages that are outstanding,” she said.
Producer of Independence Day Celebration, Royden Beharry disclosed that a few surprises will be in store for persons attending the Independence Day activities at Queen’s Park.
“We expect to have the usual parade so we are keeping our fingers crossed, that we can have a very surprising aspect of this year’s parade once all goes well. We hope to be having a spectacular highlight for 2017…some of the aspects of the programme will be totally new, some of the items that we will be having will also be new to the whole independence day celebrations”, he said.
“…We are going to be making it a family-oriented activity. We are imploring on all of our families to bring out the children, bring out the entire household and we appeal to our entrepreneurs, to our employers to provide the time off for persons to attend this very very historic event of 43 years celebration,” he added.
Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood reminded the nation of the awards that will be handed out on February 7th by Governor-General, Dame Cecile La Grenade and encouraged people to recommend persons in their communities who are desirous of getting awards.
“…What they need to do is send the request to the Cabinet Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Ministry. There is a committee of persons that are responsible for this selection, so your request will be sent to them and they would decide who (are) the persons that would be awarded are,” she said.
Some of the other major activities planned as a lead up to February 7th are the Independence Walk on January 22nd, the Independence Calypso Competition at the Sauteurs Bus Terminus and Independence Motorcade on January 28th and the Prime Minister’s luncheon for the Elderly on January 29.