SXM Local News: Children’s Parade to Kick Off St Martin’s Day, #SXMStrong Campaign

Saint Martin’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, is celebrated each year on the island of Saint Martin on November 11. On that day, in 1493, the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus. It’s a holiday filled with colorful celebrations, music, entertainment and food.

This year the celebrations will have extra meaning, as it will also be a time for the people on the island to take pause and step back for a moment from the tremendous amount of work that has gone into recovering from Hurricane Irma.

To kick off the festivities, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Affairs in Sint Maarten has announced that there will be a children’s parade in Philipsburg. It’s sure to be a great day, filled with a lot of smiling and celebration.

In addition, the government of Sint Maarten will be launching #SXMSTRONG campaign — which, of course, we LOVE!! — under the slogan “Rebuilding Our Nation”. And while we love the name, it’s important to note that we are not affiliated with this campaign, it is being conducted by the government.

Here is the official press release with more information, including the parade route:

Philipsburg, (October 13, 2017) – Kids parading through the Philipsburg area in cultural wear will officially kick off the activities leading up to St. Martin Day 2017. The parade is a collaboration between the Cocaae Foundation and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport and is scheduled for Saturday October 14th 2017.

The parade will start at 11 am at the Philipsburg Cultural and Community Center (back street) then on to Wilhelmina Street (Court House Alley), then turn onto Front Street and proceed up to Emma Plein where the parade will turn down the alley besides Diamond Casino, turn right onto the boardwalk until Walter Plantz square where the parade will then go back onto Front Street via Scheepbouw steeg, proceed back up to the Court House, turn onto Hendrikstraat and head back to the Philipsburg Cultural Center via Cannegieter Street.

Once the parade is finished, kids can enjoy face painting and a bouncing castle for free from 1pm to 2pm at the Sister Borgia parking lot. Organizers are encouraging parents to bring their kids and have fun as children can also join the parade and interact with the stilt walkers. Music will be provided by the Generation New Status STM band.

The parade forms part of the pre-St. Martin Day activities entitled “For the Love of St. Martin, Road to St. Martin Day festivities”. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing an array of events including cultural, youth oriented and sporting events leading up to St. Martin Day and wants to provide the people of St. Martin with opportunities to unify and celebrate life together.

For this year’s festivities, the Ministry is collaborating with various stakeholders, including French counterparts, to ensure a unified program and approach to St. Martin Day. An official calendar of events will be unveiled very shortly.

The parade also serves as the soft launch of the #SXMSTRONG campaign under the slogan “Rebuilding our Nation”. This campaign is a broad initiative organized by different community and social stakeholders and is powered by the government.

The sentiment surrounding the powerful slogan is one of unity, resilience, empowerment and solidarity. The slogan and the underlying message reinforces the determination of the government of Sint Maarten to get the nation back on its feet and does justice to the rebuilding efforts that are underway.

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is encouraging citizens to tune into the media and social media in the upcoming days to be updated of all the upcoming exciting events leading up to St. Martin Day with the grand finale on St. Martin Day 2017.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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