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Independence celebration will be held virtually

For the first time in recent memory, the Bahamian flag will be hoisted at an empty Clifford Park at midnight on July 10 as the country celebrates its 47th year of independence with a four-hour virtual event.

Independence Celebration Committee Chairman Mark Humes yesterday said that the event will be a “made- for-television” virtual independence program that will feature some of the best in Bahamian entertainment under the theme “Pressing Onward”.

“Over the past two years, the aim of our independence cultural productions was to highlight and showcase aspects of our Bahamian heritage and story,” he said. “This made-for-television special will be in keeping with that tradition and will be a star-studded cast of young Bahamian sketch artists, who are making their splash all over social media.”

While some aspects will be pre-recorded, the ecumenical address by Bahamas Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander will still be broadcast from Clifford Park, using the same podium used on Independence morning July 10, 1973.

Flag raising and fireworks will still take place from Clifford Park as well, but in the absence of a crowd.

Due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian last September, Humes said a special in memoriam segment has been added to honor the lives of those lost.

“Special tribute and recognition will be paid to the victims of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19,” Humes said.

“We’re asking all persons who have lost a loved one from the two disasters and would like to have them memorialized during this segment to send a photograph and a bio of no more than 200 words on their loved one to nationalevents@bahamas.gov.bs.”

According to the show’s producer, Andrew Burrows, residents from Grand Bahama and the Family Islands will be involved in the production as well.

“This is not just with performances from the Family Islands,” Burrows said. “We’ll also have people from the Family Islands sending shout-outs and greetings as a part of their way to participate. Because it’s a virtual broadcast, we actually now have the ability to do some things differently than what you would have at Clifford Park.”

Bahamian entertainers Wendi and Dyson Knight, Ricardo Clarke, Jaquay and a 30-member gospel choir have been lined up as a part of the entertainment.

Messages from the governor general, Bahamian ambassadors and consul generals will also be a part of the program.

The virtual independence event will begin at 8 p.m. on July 9 and will be broadcast live on ZNS.

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