The first event of Independence Day celebrations in Marsh Harbour was a march on Don Mackay Blvd, which included two youth groups, their leaders, and chaperones. The group gathered in front of Commonwealth Bank on Saturday, July 9, to walk to the BAIC Park, where several events, including performances and speeches, were to precede the raising of the Bahamian flag at midnight, heralding Independence Day.
The youth rally, organized by Kathleen Knowles, founder of Heal our Land Organization, was meant to bring awareness to the young people who are committed to bringing change to the country by acknowledging God and shying away from crime.
Reporters from the Freeport ZNS station interviewed Knowles, as well as some of the youngsters who explained why they had joined the rally. One of the young participants, Kirkland McIntosh, said that he was praying for young people to find their way, adding he wanted to see change in the country. Another young man, Alcindor McIntosh, explained how he had developed his faith in God following a double recovery as a cancer patient.
Another group of young men and women in the Defense Force Ranger uniform, under the leadership of Able Seaman King, waited patiently for the arrival of the music truck that was to accompany the rally.
With Gospel music blaring from the loudspeakers on the truck and a police office on a motorcycle leading the way, the participants marched joyfully, arriving at the park at 6 p.m.
After a few minutes for a well-deserved break, performers took the stage for speeches and singing.