Saba is gearing up for its 43rd Saba Day celebration that starts on Friday, December 7. The official part of the program takes place on Friday, followed by a fun-filled weekend with plenty activities.
The official part of the program on Friday takes part in Windwardside. Saba Day starts with the ringing of church bells and the sounding of sirens all around the island at 6:00am, followed at 8:00am by the ecumenical church service at the Parish of St. Paul’s Conversion where Island Governor Jonathan Johnson will give his Saba Day address.
At 9:00am, there will be a procession to the Harry L. Johnson Museum grounds, lead by the Drum Band of the Saba Boy’s and Girl’s Sports Society and at 9:15am, the Saba Flag will first be hoisted after which students of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) will sing the Saba national anthem.
Following the opening message of Master of Ceremonies Peter Johnson at 9:30am, there will be a dance performance by the Saba Comprehensive School Folklore Dance Club and the reading of a poem by a pupil of the Sacred Heart School. Saba Commissioner of Culture Rolando Wilson will share his Saba Day message.
Between the address of Commissioner Wilson and the speech of Commissioner of General Affairs Bruce Zagers, there will be a performance by the Child Focus Drum Band. After Commissioner Zagers’ address, the Sacred Heart School will present a song. The presentation of awards takes place around 10:20am, followed by a performance of the senior citizens and a dance performance of the Leos Club. Around 11:20am, MC Johnson will close off the ceremony. Afterwards there will be a reception on the museum grounds featuring The Occasionals and DJ Slim. After the official ceremony, the booths, selling local and creole dishes, will be open on the parking lot by the Tourist Office.
Several delegations from abroad will come to the island for the official Saba Day program. Attending from St. Maarten will be Members of Parliament Claude Peterson, Channel Brownbill, Rolando Brison and Christophe Emmanuel, as well as several members of the St. Maarten government. Member of the Curaçao Parliament Meindert “Menki” Rojer will be present, as will the Chinese Consul Ding Cuiyu and Vice-consul Xu Ping. There will also be a delegation from St. Eustatius.
The Saba Day Weekend program opens on Friday at 6:00pm with the Inter-island Volleyball Competition at the Peter Granger Gym/St. John’s Auditorium. One minute after midnight, the annual Saba Day Wahoo Tournament starts. On Saturday morning the program kicks off at 9:00am with children’s games and sports on the Johan Cruijff field in The Bottom, hosted by Sports Facilitator Joelyn Robinson.
At 9:00am, there will be a soccer competition at the Johan Cruijff Field with the pupils of Child Focus and activities for the family at 10:30am. A domino competition starts at the Johan Cruijff Field at 10:30am. DJ Davio will be playing at the Johan Cruijff Field from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Nobody will have to go hun try or thirsty at this location, as there will be food and drinks for sale.
At 10:00am the booths at Fort Bay Harbor open and entertainment with local DJs starts at 12:00 noon. The presenting of the Wahoo Tournament Awards takes place at 7:00pm. Rebels Band starts at 8:00pm, while the E.B.I Music Group will play from 10:30pm to 12:00 midnight after which a DJ will entertain the people with music until the end of the event at 2:00am. At 6:00pm on Saturday the Inter-island Volleyball and Basketball will start, again at the Peter Granger Gym/St. John’s Auditorium. This event is hosted by the Saba Sports Federation.
Early Sunday morning, at 7:30am the Sea to Scenery Race takes place which takes runners from Cove Bay to the top of Mount Scenery. At 10:00am the booths at the Fort Bay Harbor will open again and at 12:00 noon the local DJs start playing. The target shooting competition starts at 2:00pm and the kite competition take place at 3:00pm, followed by the tug of war at 4:00pm. One Blood Band starts playing at 6:00pm. At 7:00pm, the trophies of the sports activities will be presented, and at 8:00pm the Riddim Youngsters will put on a show. The evening closes at 12:00 midnight.
Commissioner Wilson asked all Saba residents to come out and take part in the national day ceremony and festivities. “Raise your flags proudly, knowing that we are a resilient people who are happy that we can once again share and celebrate our culture with everyone from far and near. God has been good to us,” said the Commissioner, who also called on everyone to enjoy the fun-filled weekend program.