This year’s Independence Parade will take place at 8 a.m. as is usually the case, despite a request by the parade commander to shift it to 5 p.m. because of the heatwave affecting the country.
“I just want to say we have decided to keep the time for the parade at 8 a.m. on Independence Day. While the police made a plausible case for changing the time given the excessive heat over the last couple of weeks and would be also as predicted for the 27th, it is just too late to make the change for this year,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on radio on Sunday.
On Oct. 11, Gonsalves announced the proposed time change suggested by Superintendent of Police Benzil Samuel adding that he would like for people to give their opinion.
In announcing that the time of the parade will not be changed this year, he said on WE FM, “We will have to give consideration for persons to discuss it a little more fully and it may not be changed at all but to give time for a fuller discussion and as I say, it came by too late.
“People have already fixed up … have a programme up in the North Windward area, the matter of the Madungo Festival, other people have activities which they have already arranged, diplomats coming on the evening of the 26th and want to leave on the evening of the 27th so that they can do the parade in the morning, diplomats from other countries,” the prime minister said.
“There are too many things for it to have been done in this hurried way. So, it is 8 o’clock in the morning as usual at Victoria Park for the parade.”
He said there may be consideration given by the police for the actual parade to be a little shorter.
“And I certainly in my speech have to make it as concise as possible in all the circumstances and to be mindful that people will be standing up very much in the heat and people on the parade ground.
“That’s always a consideration but in as much as the police have raised it given the extra heat at the moment with the weather that we need to pay even greater attention to those things,” the prime minister said.