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(PRESS RELEASE) — Saint Lucians and visitors alike were in for a special treat on Independence Day, with the staging of the first ever Independence Parade.
“Anou We’y,” a parade with a difference, was held on February 22, Independence Day, and featured various aspects of Saint Lucian life — sporting, cultural, commercial and more, through exciting portrayals. And, the positive feedback from the event, which was witnessed by thousands, has been overwhelming.
Several groups, organizations and companies depicted their various themes through art, colour, costume and creativity, as they traversed the John Compton Highway through the city of Castries.
The parade was headed by the phenomenal Royal Saint Lucia Police Band whose antics and performance have since gone viral. As the contingents streamed by, they were accompanied by floats and music trucks, cheered on by gleeful spectators showing their appreciation.
“It is nice to be in Saint Lucia at this time to witness something like this and share in a bit of your history and your culture,” Ron, a visitor who had just come off a cruise ship, remarked.
“This is the best Independence celebration I have witnessed, starting last night with the Story of Saint Lucia, the fireworks and the different activities and now this. It’s amazing and my kids are actually learning something,” Shirley, a mother of three, said.
The “Anou W’ey” Parade, which got underway at about 2 p.m., lasted about four hours with the grand independence fanfare culminating at the Sab Playing field, Vigie.
The contingents were judged in various categories and last week the judges revealed the winners to the Committee.
The prize for “Most Impressive contingent” went to Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy, “Most Innovative Design” – Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy, “Best Interpretation of Independence Theme,” – Helen Folk Dancers, “Best Decorated Truck/Float” – Events Company of Saint Lucia and “Truly Lucian Portrayal” – Tribe of Twel.
A special “People’s Choice Award” will be given to The Babonneau Development Committee.
The other participating contingents at the parade were the Department of Fisheries, Caribbean Metals, The Saint Lucia Swimming Association, Hibiscus Trolley Trains, Socafit, Miss Independence contestants, Youth in Arts, BOSL, Avot Sevis, Aux Leon La Magwit Group, 758 Books, Teddyson John and Friends, Xuvo Carnival Band, Insomeil Carnival Band, Looshan Revelers, SALCC Lions Cheerleaders, Volunteer Saint Lucia, Ferrands, Baron Foods, 4×4 Trailfinders Club, 758 Bikers, Karate association, National netballers, Saint Lucia Distillers, KFC, Digicel, Bay Gardens and Sandals Resorts.
A prize-giving ceremony for the winners will be held this Thursday, March 7.
Prizes will also be presented to the winners of the Independence Song Competition, which was won by Menel, with Nintus and Michael Robinson placing second and third, respectively.
The Independence 40 Committee would like to thank all of the participants, as well as the sponsors for their input into the success of the events.
A reminder, that Independence40 activities continue through to December 12, 2019 and for more information visit www.independence.slu