PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarteners seized the opportunity on Saturday, November 11, to take time to relax, unwind and enjoy the wide variety of activities on offer during St. Maarten/St. Martin Day 2017, to escape – albeit for one day – the stress and hardship in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport organised the official programme for this year’s St. Maarten/St. Martin Day festivities under the theme “#SXMSTRONG – Rebuilding Our Nation” in reflecting the strength and resilience the people of St. Maarten are showing in these trying times.
The day started with the traditional ecumenical service at the Government Administration Building, followed by a Cultural Street Fair on Soualiga Boulevard in front of the Government Building where visitors could purchase arts and crafts, while the APS parking lot was transformed in a Festival Village, where vendors sold food and beverages until midnight.
The St. Maarten Day stage opened at 12:00pm with an “oldies but goodies” one-hour tribute to seniors, followed by youth and disc jockey showcases.
Many persons turned out to watch the SXM Strong Cultural Parade which made its way through Philipsburg in the afternoon.
The Ministry teamed up with Council of Cultural and Artistic Expressions (COCAAE) and seasoned parade organiser Urmain Dormoy in the small, but high-quality Cultural Parade, which featured several cultural organisations, among which Generation New Status STM drum band, National Institute of Arts (NIA), Cole Bay Theatre Company, Semana Dominicana, and Dow’s Musical Foundation.
After the Parade made its way back to the parking lot there was a cultural manifestation on stage, followed by a one-hour tribute to local cultural icon and steel-pan virtuoso Neville York.
The St. Maarten Day celebrations were closed off with a well-attended “Revenge of the Bands” concert featuring Control Band, Strictly Music Band led by Sisco Richardson, Big Bad XP Band and 4M Band, which made everyone dance until midnight.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70890-time-to-relax-and-unwind-on-st-maarten-day-2017