A heritage festival and the unveiling of an emancipation monument are some of the highlights of the 2013 Emancipation celebrations.
The event which is being held under the theme “Celebrating, Uniting, and Achieving” will run from July 30 – August 11, 2013. It is observed annually to celebrate the end of black slavery.
Speaking at a media launch on Monday, Minister for Culture Justina Charles, said observing the occasion is a mark of respect to our ancestors.
“It is important therefore that we mark this occasion every year as a tribute to our ancestors, their struggle for freedom and liberation. The division of culture and the national cultural council organize emancipation celebrations every year, to ensure that we always remember that historic role that our ancestors played in our liberation,” she stated.
“This year we are marking emancipation day in a special way with the unveiling of an emancipation monument. This monument will be a lasting and tangible tribute to our ancestors, African slaves, the maroons, and other anti slavery fighters”.
Charles also called on the media to develop special programs around the theme of emancipation.
“I once again thank the representative of the media and I urge you to spread the word, cover the various events planned and develop special programs around the theme of emancipation,” she said “Do remember you have a special role to play in the shaping of our cultural identity and cultural awareness,” she emphasized.
Coordinator of the Eggleston Heritage Festival, Shirley Alexander, told the media launch that the festival had put the the villages of Eggleston and Giraudel in the spot light once again.
The festival is being featured for the first time as part of the Emancipation celebrations.
“Eggleston and Giraudel are very alive this year, together with our twin village…now we are all excited about our first annual Eggleston Heritage Festival…we have a rich heritage in our village… and the Rich-field Estate played a very important role, this we think is one of the reasons why we are a very close knit community,” Alexander stated.
Activities for the Heritage Festival began on July 6th with the launch of the construction and beautification program and old time school days’ fun and games. Another aspect of the festival is the summer day camp which began on Monday and ends on Friday July 19th.
A traditional Treasures Scavenger Hunt, Eggleston Got Talent Show, commencement of personal enhancement sessions, construction of items for traditional displays, Ti Famme Hewitaj pageant among others, also forms part of the program.
The Nature Island Literacy Festival which be held from August 9 -11, will be another highlight of the Emancipation Celebrations.