Cultural bang to start Dominica New Year celebrations

ROSEAU, Dominica, December 31, 2007 – Cultural activities – some stretching back hundreds of years – are to usher in the New Year in Dominica and signal the start of 12 months of celebrations to mark the country’s 30th anniversary of Independence.

It starts with a flotilla of canoes depicting the first inhabitants of Dominica, the Kalinago, will leave the southern tip of Dominica and travel to the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth arriving just before 5am EST on January 1, 2008.

A Reunion torch will be handed to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to signal the start of Reunion Wivé – a grand and spectacular extravaganza – to launch the commencement of activities to mark Dominica’s 30th year as an independent nation. 

The Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard in the capital city of Roseau will be the venue for Reunion Wivé, (Reunion has arrived). It will include prayer and praise, cultural and artistic performances and musical interludes.

The government said that Reunion Wivé is intended to create an “impressive and memorable” opening to the Reunion 2008 celebrations by “fostering a sense of occasion” while introducing the major events on the year long programme of events in a safe and secure environment. 

Every sector of society is expected to attend what government hoped will be an “all inclusive event” event.

Although the official ceremony is expected to finish at just after 6.30am, coordinator of Reunion Wivé, Alwyn Bully said that the boulevard will remain alive with music and fun throughout New Year’s Day “evoking a sense of nostalgia and an intense pride among Dominicans”.

A number of other activities and events are being planned throughout 2008 to commemorate Dominica’s 30th year as an independent nation. Every month from January- December 2008, various themes have been chosen. 

The all-day spectacle is expected to be carried live by all radio stations and streamed via the internet.

Dominica became independent on November 3, 1978.