The residents of Belize City have participated in the most peaceful Tenth of September march in years. On Tuesday September 10th many Belizean's took to the streets to celebrate the 1798 Battle of St George's Caye; despite the battle having taken place 215 years ago, there is no sign that those living in Belize are losing their sense of pride for the brave actions that their ancestors took that day.
Over two centuries have passed since the 1798 battle was fought to safeguard the settlement in Belize. A huge amount of spirit remains for those who bravely stood up against invaders, and the annual march gives residents the chance to go out onto the street and show that their ancestors' actions will never be forgotten. Whilst no one is mandated to march in the parade, the Tenth of September celebrations continue to be highly enjoyed and participated in by a vast array of residents.
This year, as with all other years, the parade was started by crowning the Queen of the Bay. Officials including the prime minister, Dean Barrow; governor general of Belize Sir Colville Young; chief justice Kenneth Benjamin; and leader of the opposition Francis Fonseca were all in attendance. The former Queen of the Bay, Yadira Argueta, relinquished her throne and passed the honor on to Jahrine Avila, who will be Belize's symbol of freedom and love for the next 12 months.
After the ceremony in Memorial Park, the parade began with high-spirited participants marching through North Front Street, Queen Street and Victoria Street. The route was longer than the traditional parade due to infrastructure changes; however, the parade continued to grow as it snaked through the streets, finally ending in the Yarborough district where the Carnival Road march began. Despite fewer floats in the parade than usual, the actual number of participants was greater than ever, showing the sense of pride still remains to this day.
The parade is an annual event to be enjoyed for anyone living in Belize; with the streets safer than ever, Belize City hosted one of the most peaceful events it has ever seen. Kenny Gladden once again led the celebrations to their traditional jump up, bringing everyone together for the celebratory dance and hug that is iconic of the Tenth of September parade. With everyone having enjoyed this iconic and traditional event, all thought will now be on making 2014's parade even bigger and brighter.