Preparations for this year’s Saba Day celebration on Friday, December 6, and the events during Saba Day Weekend are progressing well. The 44th celebration has as theme “Building Roads to the Future” and will start on Friday morning with the official ceremony at the Government Administration Building in The Bottom. On Saturday, December 14, Saba Day will be celebrated both in the Netherlands and in Florida, the US.
The program for Saba Day and Saba Day Weekend has been released, and as is customary, the official part will start on Friday at 6:00am with the joy bells and the ringing of the church bells. After the blessings by Father Zibi and Pastor Alexander at 8:00am, the hoisting of the flag will take place by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and students of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS), followed by the singing of the Saba Anthem by school children and the singing of the Flag Song by the Woods’ Sisters. Master of Ceremony will be Jade Every.
Saba Day speeches will be given by Island Governor Johnson and Commissioners Rolando Wilson and Bruce Zagers. After that, there will be a short awards ceremony to recognize persons who have made a special contribution to Saba and its community. Pastor Liburd will close the official ceremony. There will be several cultural events, including performance by a dance group, and a public reception which will end at 12:00 noon. Dignitaries and guests from surrounding islands and the Dutch Caribbean have been invited to attend Saba Day.
Booths, fishing tournament
On Friday, from 9:00am-9:00pm, the booths will be open on Mathew Levenstone Street in The Bottom, while at 12:00 noon the Ram Goat show and competition will take place at the grounds of the Carmen Simmons Cultural Complex in The Bottom. At 4:00pm, there will be a youth female volleyball tournament at the Peter L. Granger Sports Auditorium in St. John’s, followed by the male volleyball competition. At 6:00pm, the captains of the fishing boats that will compete in the Saba Wahoo Fishing Tournament will meet for a briefing at the Think About It Bar at Fort Bay to receive the last information about the tournament which will start at midnight with the departure of the boats from the Capt. L.A.I. Chance Pier.
On Saturday, December 7, at 6:30am is the Saba Cross Walk from the Juancho Yrausquin Airport to the Capt. L.A.I. Chance Pier. At 9:00am, Child Focus will host face painting and other activities for children at Johan Cruyff Court. At 10:00am, the cultural booths open at Fort Bay. Entertainment starts at 11:00am. At 4:00pm, the male basketball tournament starts at the Peter L. Granger Sports Auditorium, while at that same time the Wahoo fishing tournament will finish.
After the fishing boats return, local bands and Dee Jays will entertain the crowd from 6:00pm. At 7:00pm is the most creative bike competition as well as the prize giving ceremony of the Wahoo Fishing Tournament.
On Sunday, December 8, the cultural booths will open at 10:00am and entertainment starts at 11:00am. Starting at 12:00 noon there will be several fun activities, starting with the Village Tug of War competition, followed by target shooting, a kite competition and a sweet potato pudding tasting competition. The awards ceremony will be at 8:00pm. At 12:00 midnight, Saba Day Weekend ends.
Change of venue
Initially, the official Saba Day program was to take place at Hell’s Gate, the designated village for this year’s festivities on December 6. However, for safety reasons it was decided to move the event to The Bottom. “It hurts my heart that we can’t hold it in Hell’s Gate as we originally planned,” said Commissioner Wilson, who has been promoting to alternate the Saba Day celebrations between the villages. He said that the Hell’s Gate Committee still played a role in this year’s event.
The Commissioner called on everyone to come out on Saba Day and Saba Day Weekend. “Come celebrate our national day in grand style, celebrate who we are, where we have come from, being proud of those of who have built our beautiful island and eagerly looking forward to the future. I am calling on everyone to get their flags out and let us show the world that we truly love our little Unspoiled Queen,” he said.
This year again, Saba Day will be celebrated in the Netherlands as well. On December 14, Entyce Proggers & Party PPL Association are hosting the second annual Saba Day event in The Hague, from 3:00 – 11:00 pm at Café de Vriendenkring, Elandstraat 77D. Commissioner Wilson invites the Saba people in the Netherlands to come out. He thanked the organizers Entyce Proggers & Party PPL Association and Lucia J. Woods.
Saba Day is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Florida this year. The event, which was always privately organized, has grown throughout the years. Because it is an anniversary year, the Public Entity Saba has made a contribution. This year, the winners of the Saba Day ballot tournament will go to Florida to participate in the event there. Commissioner Zagers will be present to present awards to the winners, to the two people who started the event 10 years ago and to the couple who continued this tradition.