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Man-O-War one of many communities to celebrate Independence Day

Slippery Pole
The slippery pole is one of many games and traditions celebrated on Man-O-War during Independence Day.

As Bahamians celebrated independence on July 10 this year, we remembered as a people an event that united us all in love and service. And, of course, as with any important event in Bahamian history, it would not have been acceptable to let it pass over us without proper celebrations or festivities.

From tip to tip of each Bahamian island, the celebratory fires of independence burned brightly. Man-O-War was no exception.

For decades, Man-O-War has celebrated independence in its own unique way. Abaconians, Bahamians and even different nations gathered on Man-O-War Cay to commemorate the day with food, fun, and friendship.

Burgers, baked macaroni, and other foods were sold as people socialized. Friendly competitive events marked the day, including a conch cracking competition and the famous tradition of the slippery pole, on which competitors slid out over the harbour on a greased pole attempting to rip off a rag which was nailed to the end with the winner receiving a cash prize.

All of the day’s festivities were set against the backdrop of a perfect summer day, with the sun shining intensely over the clear, boat-filled water of the harbour as children and adults alike swam relaxingly. With such a brilliant day to remember independence by, it would have been difficult for anyone there to feel unpatriotic.

There are certainly many who eagerly wait for July 10 of next year, so that they may once again return to Man-O-War and experience the unique celebration which has captivated them so deeply for so long.

About James Albury

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