This Saturday, July 1, will mark the 160th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Abolishment of Slavery in 1863, across the Dutch Caribbean islands and Suriname. See below the official schedules for St. Maarten, Statia and Saba for this revered holiday of homage. This will be Saba’s first official Emancipation Day event.
A happy Emancipation Day to all!
Theme: Born Free
5:30AM to 6:30AM
Saints Simon and Jude Anglican Church, Back Street
6:30AM to 7:00AM
From the Anglican Church to the Sports Park on the Boardwalk Promenade
Sunrise Tribute Cultural Manifestation
7:00AM to 10:30AM
Sports Park on the Boardwalk Promenade
Royal elegance – clothes that show nobility, wealth and power.
Hosted by the Department of Culture, the day will feature local musicians, poets, dancers, singers and storytellers including Art Saves Lives, Indisu Dance Theater of St. Maarten, King Vers, King James, Solo Kween, RudyNumba4, Jacintho Carty, Swalika Drummers, Kaiso Brat, Connis Vanterpool, Malaika Maxwell, Shakiya, Peggy Oulerich, Saby Claxton, and Benjamin Bell.
Theme: Fostering the Dialogue
7:00AM to 8:30AM
Seventh Day Adventist Church
7:00PM – 9:00PM
Earl Merkman Sports Auditorium
The Manifestation programme starts with a prayer by Pastor T. Leito, followed by ‘The Golden Rock’ by Juluis Lopes, ‘The Beginning’ by Ichaniyah Richardson, ‘The Black Experience’ by the MC, ‘Freedom’ by Marcella Marsdin, ‘Expressions’ by The Bright Morning Stars, ‘Oral Traditions’ by Voices with a Purpose, ‘ The Gift of Song’ by D. Vlijtig and V. Hooker, a word by Island Council Member R. Leerdam and R. Spanner-Carty, ‘Expressions part 2’ by The Bright Morning Stars, reflections by R. Blake, dance traditions by MYF Dancers, ‘Freedom Songs’ by Witnesses for Christ, dance traditions by Natasha Courtar, ‘The Celebration’ by Sweet Pan SXM, and ends with gratitude by the Emancipation Festivities Committee.
Theme: Liberation through healing
11:30AM – 3:30PM
Princess Juliana’s Sports Field
Caribbean cultural and African dress or bright colours
The programme includes traditional Djembe drumming by Budu Banton, welcome by MC Angus Martin, the National Anthem by the Saba Children’s Choir, opening prayer by Reverend Vernon Liburd. The speech of King Willem-Alexander given earlier during that day at Amsterdam’s Oosterpark will be replayed. Commissioner of Culture Eviton Heyliger, State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitization Alexandra van Huffelen and Island Governor Jonathan Johnson will give an address. Keynote speaker: Vice Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission Dorbrene O’Marde from Antigua. Continuing with a presentation by the Leo Club, poem written by Lysanne Charles and read by Jenee Matthew, a poem by students Marielys Torres and Trevon Johnson, cultural performance by Sacred Heart School students, a speech by Dimetri Whitfield titled ‘Overcoming the Shadows of Slavery’, a performance by the Surinamese community and a steelpan rendition ‘Swing low sweet chariot’ by Karel Sorton. After the official programme: an exhibition, food and drink, and music by DJ Cane.