The air was thick with anticipation. The country was electrified, moving rhythmically to the beating heart of freedom! The streets were empty. The shop windows unlit. The wharf was abandoned. The sounds of rake ’n’ scrape pierced the air as revelry shook the country to its bones. The people’s jubilation could be felt anywhere within the 700 island archipelago. The Bahamas, an independent nation “dun reach."
A Brief Glimpse in Time
Did you know that the motto of the Bahamian coats of arms - 'Forward, Upward, Onward, Together' - was created by two, eleven year-old children? The Bahamas officially gained its independence on July 10th, 1973, but in the days leading up to this historical event, a celebratory flame had set the country alight. Everyone became enchanted by the idea of freedom. Musicians, artists and creatives came together to head committees for the Independence Day Celebrations. They devoted their efforts to defining what it means to be "Bahamian." Little did they know, this would still evoke a powerful sense of emotion today!
July 9th, 1973
Clifford Park was “the spot” that night. The grand stage was set as over 50,000 Bahamians from all walks of life united to celebrate the birth of a new nation. The sweet, melodic sounds of trumpets, accompanied by the pulsating beat of drums filled the air as the Royal Bahamas Police Force marching band paraded around Clifford Park, kicking off the night’s festivities. What followed was an amazing display of creativity through music and dance deeply rooted in Bahamian culture entitled “Pages from Bahamian History”, directed by Winston Saunders and Clement Bethel.
To top off all of the night's festivities, a Junkanoo festival was held and a spirit of competition overtook the crowd as the Junkanoo groups battled it out, showing off their finely crafted costumes and dance moves to the bone-chilling beating of goat skin drums. The groups paraded around Clifford Park with vigor, all seeking the top spot and the $1,000 cash prize. That evening, the Valley Boys emerged victorious.
Independence Mornin'. Like A Baby Bornin'.
“Take down dat Union Jack!”
Was the universal roar heard one minute to midnight as the British flag was lowered for the last time, making way for the official flag of The Bahamas at 12:01 AM on July 10th, 1973.
A new nation had been born.
Be Free. Be Bahamian.
Whether you’re celebrating being Bahamian in your backyard or in a public setting, if you’re spending it with those important to you, that’s all that matters. Allow us to help you make that day truly magical with our Catalogue of event essentials that'll make your Independence memorable.