There was dance at Oistins Bay Garden.

Cultural pop-ups in four towns Saturday

Cultural pop-ups in four towns Saturday

There was dance at Oistins Bay Garden.

The Season of Emancipation Pop-Up Series are back! The events will be held on Saturday, April 13 across the island. There will be dance, spoken word, drama and musical performances from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. within the island’s four towns. Speightstown 11 a.m., Oistins at midday, Holetown at 1 p.m. and Bridgetown at 4 p.m.

St Leonard's Boys Steel Orchestra performed in Golden Square Freedom Park last year.
St Leonard’s Boys Steel Orchestra performed in Golden Square Freedom Park last year.

The events are to jump the start of the Season which officially starts Sunday, April 14, the day observed as the Anniversary of the Bussa Rebellion.

Under the theme: Reimagining the Past; Celebrating the Future, the Division of Culture, in the Prime Minister’s Office, has a number of events planned for this year’s calendar.

Barbados Community Folk Chorale singing in Bridgetown.
Barbados Community Folk Chorale singing in Bridgetown.

The first event at 11 a.m. will start in the north by the Speightstown Esplanade with performances by Haynesville Youth Group, La Shawna Griffith and songstress Roneisha Alleyne.

In the 17th century Speightstown was a major portwith ships arriving from England. Schooners ran between Speightstown and Bridgetown. Speightstown has been twinned with the British town of Reading and with the City of Charleston, South Carolina in the United States.

The Emancipation celebrations then move to Oistins Bay Garden at midday. Oistins played a significant role as a trans-shipment point for sugar and other crops grown at nearby plantations.

In 1652 at The Mermaid Tavern in Oistins, the Charter of Barbados was signed between Oliver Cromwell’s representative and the Governor of Barbados who remained loyal to the King.

The Charter guaranteed Barbados colonists rights and privileges unheard of in any other colony, including rights to their land and local control of taxation.

The cultural pop up at Oistins Bay Garden Stage, which starts at noon features, Israel Lovell Foundation, Winston Farrell and Aaliyah Cumberbatch.

At 1 p.m. Holetown, by the Police Station Complex comes alive with entertainment by Tavon Boyce, spoken-word artist Deo De Poet and Phoenix Steel Pan Trio.

The day’s activities fittingly culminate at Golden Square Freedom Park in Bridgetown at 3 p.m.

There was dance at Oistins Bay Garden.
There was dance at Oistins Bay Garden.

Bridgetown was the first port of call for ships making the trans-Atlantic crossing from Africa. In the 17th century, it was regarded as the centre of the British Atlantic trade, as a port for the trade of goods including sugar and slaves. This historic city and its nearby Garrison was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

On stage at Golden Square Freedom Park will be Luci Hammans, Dancin’ Africa and Calvary Moravian Steel Orchestra.

The Season of Emancipation is a time to reflect not only on the injustice and suffering of slavery but also on the unbroken spirit of our ancestors. Much of Barbados’ cultural heritage, including dance, music and cuisine, is proudly rooted in the traditions and experiences of the country’s African descendants.

The next major date on the Season of Emancipation calendar is National Heroes Day, April 28. Other key dates during the Season are Labour Day, May 1; Africa Day, May 25; The Day of National Significance, July 26; Emancipation Day, August 1; Marcus Garvey Day, August 17 and Jackie Opel Day, August 27.

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