Over 2,500 flag-waving students lined the main streets of Bridgetown from as early as 4 p.m. yesterday to usher in a parade to launch Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations.
They were among the thousands of Barbadians who packed the capital to witness the historic event, which included 375 members, inclusive of bands drawn from eight organizations.
There was hardly any walking space on the sidewalks as every available space along Broad Street, Bridge Street and Independence Square was taken.
The beaming students from nursery, primary and secondary schools raised their flags high in the air, many of them finding it difficult to hide their excitement. They jumped and waved at the passing detachments, soaking up the opportunity to be part of the special occasion. The adults standing behind the students also enjoyed the show, some clapping and nodding in agreement at those on parade.
The detachments on parade included the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme, Barbados Cadet Corps Sea and Infrantry Cadets, Girl Guides Association of Barbados, Barbados Boy Scout Association, Barbados Youth Service, Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders, Barbados Red Cross and Barbados Landship Association.
The military groups were especially on point and they showed off their marching skills in quick time, stepping out or stepping short at times. The Sea Cadets marking time, in time, periodically, were a treat for crowd.
Parade Commander Major John Morodore told Barbados TODAY he was happy that the smooth running parade started on time, leaving Red Drive promptly at 5:05 p.m., and all eyes turned right at the Cenotaph at Heroes Square at exactly 5:25 p.m., the scheduled time.
“It was an excellent parade. I was surprised when I got to Broad Street and saw so many patriotic Barbadians on Broad Street, not even the other day during Christmas when people were shopping [were there this many people]. This was a really good way to start off the 50th Independence Celebrations,” the Parkinson Memorial teacher said.
The parade ended promptly at 5:30 p.m. at the Old Willoughby Forte.