Barbados will celebrate tomorrow the 43rd anniversary of its independence, achieved on November 30, 1966. Independence day is a national holiday on the island.
Independence celebrations have been scheduled throughout November and included sports competitions, fairs, community events, and religious services. One of the highlights of the Independence celebrations is the decorative lighting of Parliament Buildings and businesses throughout the capital Bridgetown, using blue and gold colored bulbs (the national colors). Roundabouts on the highways are also lighted, creating a spectacular view at night.
Another highlight of the celebrations is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) which showcases the artistic talents of Barbadians. This festival encourages Barbadians of all ages to match their talents in the fields of music, singing, dance, drama, writing, fine art, photography and arts and crafts. The festival runs throughout the month of November and culminates with a gala presentation in which the finalists are featured.
Among the first nations to offer their congratulations was the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, writing on behalf of President Obama, wrote to congratulate the people of Barbados. “Our two countries share an enduring friendship dating back to 1823,” she wrote, “when the first United States Consular Agency was opened in Bridgetown. We remain united by shared democratic values and our commitment to work as partners to promote peace and prosperity throughout the Eastern Caribbean region and beyond. This is an occasion to honor the history and culture of Barbados and reaffirm our faith in the future. I offer warmest wishes to all the people of Barbados and look forward to continued cooperation and friendship.”