Saint Lucia gained its independence some 37 years ago, acquiring ‘liberation’ as an independent nation on February 22, 1979. On that date the country officially became an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations with the British Queen as the head of the state. Several cultural activities synonymous with the national holiday are celebrated around the anniversary date and this year things will be no different but with the addition of a very colourful and energetic twist to the line up of events. On the Saint Lucian Independence Day itinerary for 2016, the D-A-S-H Independence Colour Run is scheduled to take place for its second year. The now annual event was launched last Friday at the Bay Gardens Bougainvillea Conference Room.
Dione Benn of Live Productions Inc. is the conceptualizer of the Colour Run. In an interview with the STAR she said: “We basically put together and executed the event. We wanted to celebrate Independence in a fun, happy, interactive way that allowed every member of the family, kids, the elderly, indeed whole communities, to participate. Saint Lucia loves fun walks. We thought, Why not add a West Indian twist by throwing a J’ouvert into it? It’s been done in Jamaica and Trinidad, but never in the Eastern Caribbean.”
Five hundred Colour Runners took part last year. This time around, judging by demonstrated interest, the organizers expect to triple the participation. “We see large corporate houses coming out with teams this year and we are targeting 1,500 runners.” D-A-S-H Colour Runners will gather at the Mega J roundabout from 5.30 a.m. on Sunday February 28. The 5 km run is scheduled to kick off at 6,30 a.m. sharp, ending at Rodney Bay. A music truck will accompany runners along the Gros Islet highway. At the final destination will be a mini-Independence village with concessionaires and live entertainment by local performers. The event is expected to last four hours or so.
“One of the comments we got last year was that the D-A-S-H Colour Run was the most fun participants had had without alcohol,” said Benn. “This is a family event, after all. So, no booze, just lots of water and energy drinks. The events encourage people to let their hair down.We had people out in tutus, wigs, crazy socks and colourful headbands,” Benn chuckled.
Registration starts on February 7 at the Baywalk mall: $35 for adults, $20 for children. Registrants will receive an official D-A-S-H tee shirt, and other paraphernalia from sponsors. Proceeds will benefit in part the Child Development and Guidance Centre in