Celebrate Bajan independence

Parliament building in Bridgetown, Barbados.

This year marks 50 years of independence for Barbados. On Nov. 30, 1966, the eastern Caribbean island achieved independence from Britain, and the day is now a national holiday in Barbados. Throughout this year, in the run-up to the main date, numerous events are held to celebrate in Barbados, the Bajan community in Cayman is also taking part.

The Barbados Consulate Office in Cayman is hosting a Bajan Cultural and Family Fair on Monday at the Lions Centre on Crewe Road.

“The Bajan Cultural and Family Fair offers patrons a taste of Barbados, without the expense of an airline ticket,” said Juliette Gooding-Michelin, honorary consul of Barbados.

The Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes games and a bouncy castle, maypole dancing and more. There will also be an identification game where players match photos of well-known people’s hands to their faces, including those of the governor and members of the Legislative Assembly, as well as a dunk tank where students can dunk their favorite teacher or friend, or even a fireman.

Auctions and prizes will be available as well as music and face painting. Snow cones, popcorn and an array of Bajan and other Caribbean foods will also be available.

The Queen and Prince Philip wave to the crowd on their 1966 tour of Barbados.
The Queen and Prince Philip wave to the crowd on their 1966 tour of Barbados.

The fair is one of three major events organized by the Barbados Consul leading up to the 50th independence celebration in November. The consul will also host an expo of Bajan artifacts, photos and videos later in the year, and will hold a banquet at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in November.

“The fair is a fun, family event,” said Gooding-Michelin. “Although hosted by Barbadians, we are embracing all the cultures in the Cayman Islands. For example, the maypole dance is also a Cayman tradition.

“The day promises to be full of entertainment and laughter, where families can relax with their children and there is an opportunity to win various prizes and enjoy a variety of booths. As we prepare for the celebration of Barbados’s Golden Jubilee, we wish to share our celebration; our culture; and history.”

Entry fee is $5 for adults; free for children under 12. Proceeds will go toward community outreach initiatives that the consul and Barbadian community members are involved with in Cayman. Ticket holders will also get two free passes to any of the Bajan booths.

The Barbados Consulate Office in Cayman is hosting a Bajan Cultural and Family Fair on Monday at the Lions Centre on Crewe Road.

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