The emancipation celebrations in the British Virgin Islands has been officially declared open.
The ceremonial ribbon cutting and cultural food fair took place at the back of the Central Administration Complex today Friday, August 3.
The cultural food fair featured local foods, music, dances and poetry.
This year will mark the 64th emancipation celebration. It is being held under the theme: Revisiting and revitalizing our culture, while this year’s slogan is Restore and revive our cultural scene, BVI Strong for Festival 2018.
Education and Culture Minister Myron Walwyn said this year, more than any other, the festival theme serves as a focal point which informs and guides how the festival activities will be celebrated.
“As I shared before in the aftermath of all that has transpired while we were in the throes of redevelopment this is the perfect opportunity to restore our culture and demonstrate what emancipation really means to us,” he said.
“In the midst of adversity, we have taken the opportunity to revisit and revitalize those cultural practices and norms that help to strengthen our Virgin Islands.”
Walwyn urged persons to use the opportunity to also embrace the legacy of their forefathers and make a deliberate effort to produce a festival that speaks to our spirituality and cultural heritage.
Acting Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering, in the meantime, urged residents to remember the real reason for the celebrations, which is the BVI’s liberation from slavery.
He called on all to exercise caution during the various activities scheduled to take place in the coming days.
The festival village was blessed last night with the annual Gospel Fest. The real celebration is expected to begin Friday night.
Due to the lingering impacts of the 2017 hurricanes this year’s festivities have been significantly scaled back.
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