Mark Humes - Virtual Independence Press Conference - June 30, 2020.
Mark Humes, MP, chairman, 2020 National Independence Celebrations. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

Article Update – July 9th, 2020:

Highlights of Tonight’s 47th Independence Live Virtual National Celebration

The public is encouraged to tune in to the broadcast this evening for a 4-hour, made-for-television, virtual Independence program that will air live from the studios of ZNS in New Providence and the Northern Bahamas tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m.

The Bahamas will observe 47 years of Independence under the theme “Pressing Onward: A Time of Hope, Triumph, and Transformation.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures still in effect, there will be no celebratory events that involve large gatherings.

Opening with prayer by the Bahamas Christian Council, the gala comprises the first live virtual national independence celebration in our region.

It will feature audience participation so that we hear from Bahamians all over the world.  There will be Messages from the Governor General, the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and other officials.  Expect powerful performances, both secular and ecumenical and comedy skits from social media stars who emerged during the pandemic.  Hosts will be Jimenita Swain, Dion Johnson, Chigozie Ijeoma, Hope Shelly-Ann, Dyson and Wendi Knight, Melissa Knowles, Desmond Saunders and Bodine Johnson.  Other local stations will also carry it live.

Flag Raising will begin just before midnight.

Original Article – July 6th, 2020:

“The Commonwealth of The Bahamas will observe its 47th Independence under the theme ‘Pressing Onward: A time of Hope, Triumph and Transformation’ this July 10th and we are in the midst of preparing a spectacular national celebration”, said the Mark Humes, MP, chairman, 2020 National Independence Celebrations committee, during a press conference on June 30th.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the committee is preparing a four-hour, made for television, virtual Independence programme, produced by Andrew Burrows, that will air Thursday, July 9th.

Mr. Humes said, this Independence will be historic as for the first time in the nation’s history Bahamians will not be able to gather en masse for celebrations on Bay Street, at Government House or at historic Clifford Park – the site of every major Independence celebration from the downing of the Union Jack to the raising of the black, aquamarine and gold Bahamas National Flag in 1973.

This made-for-television Independence special will be in keeping with tradition and will feature a star-studded cast of young Bahamian sketch comedic artists who are making a splash all over social media – including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and tik-tok.

For this year’s ‘In Memoriam,’ special tribute and recognition will be paid to the victims of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19.  Those persons who have lost loved ones to Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 and would like to have them memorialized during the ‘In Memoriam’ segment should send a photograph and a biography of no more than 200 words on their loved ones to email address