This year’s 60th Independence anniversary will be celebrated with an entire month of activities across both islands geared towards fostering national pride and honouring Trinidad and Tobago’s rich cultural diversity under the theme #together60.
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Camille Robinson-Regis, who is on a Cabinet committee organising the activities, said yesterday that the celebrations will cost taxpayers $7.5 million.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
Among the scope of events will be a cross-country concert visiting each municipality and will help build to a major “Together Concerts.”
“On Independence night, August 31 and Republic night, September 24, and on September 23 in Tobago specifically, we’ll be having what we call Together Concerts. The Together Concerts are expositions of our cultural manifestations comprising of our indigenous expressions, signpost to our deepest and most sincere aspirations for unity and solidarity as a people. These concerts will be reminiscent of our national watchwords, Together we Aspire, Together we Achieve,” Robinson-Regis said
She said they will include the country’s “premium artistes” in areas such as calypso, soca, chutney, spoken word, parang, parang-soca, rhythm sections and steel orchestras
She said there will also be an art show hosted by the Prime Minister, social media competitions, essay writing and patriotic song competitions among the events
Despite the wide range of celebrations, Robinson-Regis described the jubilee as being “muted” given the ongoing pandemic and new threat of monkeypox
“There were some other possibilities that I had placed before the cabinet, like a children’s rally and things like that and we opted not to go towards those expressions because of those very issues,” Robinson-Regis said
“We still feel that it is a time of celebration and consequently, we should still do something taking the COVID issues into consideration, so that’s why to a large extent, some of the things have been scaled down and they’re easier to manage. We will also expect that the citizens will take charge of their own safety as it relates to the pandemic because the pandemic is still with us.”
She said there will also be a return of the Independence Day Parade and fireworks show
“We have been discussing the fireworks. I know that there is that concern about the noise, so we trying to be sure of where we place the fireworks but there will be a major fireworks display. We have also been discussing the issue of noiseless fireworks, but it may not…take place on this occasion,” she said
She said Guyana President and Jamaica’s Prime Minister will be coming to join in the celebrations and the full schedule of events will be published and advertised.