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Residents march through RT in recognition of VI’s emancipation

Residents march through RT in recognition of VI’s emancipation

Collaborating with the Department of Culture, the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee (VIFFC) staged the torch-lighting procession last night to keep the memory of Virgin Islanders who fought for emancipation alive.

Several people gathered at the parking lot opposite Sunny Caribbee in Road Town where the procession began. Those in attendance were given a torch and the march to the Yampi Festival Village commenced.

The procession was led by a truck with local fungi musical legends who make up the Elmore Stoutt and Zion Sounds Fungi Band. Minister for Culture Sharie De Castro and Acting Premier Kye Rymer were also present, singing and dancing to the music being played.

Rymer said the procession was vital because it was to shed light on the 68 years of celebrating culture and emancipation in the territory.

“We are happy to be in the streets. This is how it was started. This is how it was done. It started with the fungi band playing music and we are able to replicate it and show that this is how we celebrate our emancipation,” Rymer said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Culture Anne Leonard said the event has been staged for several decades dating back to the 1950s when the festival celebrations began.

“We have evolved from the use of Japanese lanterns with candles to flambé bottles with kerosene oil and the rag inside. It really reminds us of and pays tribute to our ancestors who died and suffered so much over the centuries because of slavery and the transatlantic trade,” Leonard said.

This fungo band played as residents marched through Road Town during a torch-lighting procession last evening to honour the memory of Virgin Islanders who fought for the territory’s emancipation.

Culture Minister Sharie De Castro is spotted among a group of residents who marched through Road Town during a torch-lighting procession last evening to honour the memory of Virgin Islanders who fought for the territory’s emancipation.

Residents marched through Road Town during a torch-lighting procession last evening to honour the memory of Virgin Islanders who fought for the territory’s emancipation.

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