A full week of activities are planned for Grand Bahama, leading up to the official independence celebration event, beginning with the annual basketball tournament which is set to begin Monday at the Jack Hayward High School Auditorium
Then on Wednesday, July 4 there will be an Independence Church ceremony at the New Emmanuel Baptist Church in High Rock at 7:30 p.m. Heading west on Sunday, July 8 organizers say that another church service will be held at the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church at 3 :00 p.m.
Revealing the details of the celebration activities was the Island Administrator Stephanie Rahming, who noted that the City of Freeport Council will be participating in the basketball tournament, which will end on Saturday, July 7.
She invited the community to come out, enjoy and support all of the activities.
Ministry of Works and Urban Development are involved in the preparations by making sure all the flags are in place which had already begun said, Rosemary Nixon-Martin, assistant secretary.
She added that all the flags should be up at the Independence Park by early next week and the banners for the round-about will be put up next week as well.
Speaking more on the basketball tournament was Steve Burrows, assistant director of Sports, who said that this year they will have senior and junior divisions.
“The senior division will be split in two with Pool A consisting of East Grand Bahama, Central Grand Bahama and a College Basketball team made up of college players,” said Burrows. “Pool B will be made up of
Pineridge, Marco and West Grand Bahama. In the Junior Division there will be ages 14 and under, 16 and under, 18 and under and over 19. The tournaments are expected to be very, very exciting. Already out in the communities, persons are saying they know who is going to win.
“We are expected to open Monday, July 2 at the Eight Mile Rock Gym starting at 7:00 p.m., followed by a short opening ceremony and then a closing game that night,”?said Burrows.
“Play continues at Jack Hayward and the Eight Mile Rock Gym on July 3 at 4:00 p.m. and concludes on Saturday, July 7 at the Jack Hayward High School with all division championships being held starting at 4:00 p.m.”
Burrows invited the entire Grand Bahama to come out to watch the games next week.
Debbie Huyler of the Ministry of Tourism disclosed that a tea party is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 9 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Grand Lucayan Ballroom. She noted that this tea party is for the visitors to the island to get a taste of Bahamian culture, while mingling with Bahamians.
They will be treated to Bahamian food, a fashion show featuring Bahamian designer Besh Eve, Back Yard Dancers and a skit.
On Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. the action in Grand Bahama is focused on the Independence Park where they start with a float parade, Bahamian music by local musicians, including the Allegro Music School, a Liturgical dance, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, the Pathfinders’ Band, quadrille dance and a performance by the famous Cooling Waters and Simeon Outten.
The night closes out with fireworks said, Alfred Stubbs of the Customs Department.
Included in the celebrations is a fund-raiser for the local Red Cross, which will be hosting a down home evening on July 6 at the Church of the Ascension Hall. Performing will be Wilfred Solomon.