Friday, July 19, 2024

San Pedro honors the country with annual pre-Independence Day ceremonies


The anticipated pre-Independence Day celebration in San Pedro Town was held at the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena on Wednesday, September 20th, with thousands of islanders in attendance. This year, San Pedranos joined Belizeans nationwide and abroad in celebrating Belize’s independence anniversary under the theme ‘Hope Ignited, Hands United, Vision Reviewed: Belize @42! The traditional event included cultural presentations, speeches, and the official flag-raising ceremony at midnight, ushering in Belize’s Independence Day-September 21st with a grand fireworks spectacle.
Gates at the sporting arena opened at 8PM with plenty of booths offering food and refreshments. A cultural presentation called From Belitza to Belize depicts the country’s history from its first days before the arrival of the Europeans. The program featured Belize’s ethnic groups, such as the Creole, Mestizo, Garifuna, Maya, and East Indian. As customary, the San Pedro High School marching band then led the torch bearers and the specially invited guests into the venue comprising the Miss San Pedro Mariel Calderon, Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez, and his councilors, Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, and the Opposition representative Wilfredo Alamilla Jr.
Mistress of Ceremonies Natalie Arceo welcomed everyone to this year’s patriotic festivities. She invited Justice of the Peace Steve Bowen to the podium for the recital of the Belize National Prayer. Mayor Nuñez then delivered his remarks stressing patriotism and nationalism. “I want to acknowledge those men and women, those giants, who have served our community,” said Nuñez. “It is with such inspiration that we continue the day by day, week by week, and month by month serving you here in San Pedro.” He thanked islanders for the opportunity to serve them as their local leader. Besides the recent major developments in San Pedro, such as the construction of a bridge at the Boca del Rio area and the ongoing paving of streets connecting the subdivisions around San Pedro Town, the Mayor said they plan to do more for the island residents.
Afterward, the Opposition representative, Alamilla Jr., addressed the multitude, wishing everyone a happy festivity. He commented on all the hard-working people, particularly the public officers, taxi drivers, tour guides, and tour operators, for their love for Belize. “Let us commit ourselves to democracy, freedom, and justice, which are the foundation of our nation. Let us stand together as one, united in our diversity, and continue work toward a future filled with hope, opportunity, and prosperity,” Alamilla Jr. ended.
Area Representative Perez closed the formalities with his speech. He highlighted the efforts of the nation’s forefathers, naming the father of independence the late Right Honourable George Cadle Price. “We can sing our national anthem with much pride and salute our bold, bright red, blue, and white flag,” said Perez. “With that pride and determination, the keeps our vision focused for a better future for Belize, we know that we are making the right decisions for the country as a government,” Perez noted that it will be the investment from the government in the youth and children, to whom he said the country belongs to.
The flag-raising ceremony was next, and the Belize Coast Guard marched into the venue’s field. Mayor Nuñez inspected the guard of honor, and immediately after, the flag-raising ceremony was held, with the singing of the national anthem followed by a 21-gun salute.

When the clock ticked midnight, the fireworks illuminated the skies with bright colors. Islanders were awed at the spectacle while waving their flags.
Happy Independence Day, Belize!

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