As the United States finishes up their Independence Day celebrations on the 4th of July, the Bahamas is just getting started. This year on July 10th, is the Bahamas 44th year being an independent nation.
All across the Bahamas, celebrations will be going on. One such celebration, that I try to attend every year, is at Man-O-War Cay. Events are held throughout the entire day and into the night. The day begins at the ball-field with traditional 3-legged races and tug-o-war competitions for all ages. By mid-day, everyone makes their way down to the harbour for conch-breaking, sawing, hammering and conch blowing competitions. Hot dogs and hamburgers are available on the sidelines, if you’re feeling a bit hungry.
The highlight of the day is the slippery pole. Crowds gather to watch and cheer as a long pvc pipe is positioned out over the water, a swatch of cloth is nailed to the end and the pole is then greased with shortening. Competitors then attempt to slide out onto the pole in order to be the first to grab the cloth. But there’s a catch! There’s no limit to how many can be on the pole at one time and the shortening makes staying on a bit tricky. Competitors often slide right off the end of the pole into the water. Anyone can enter, but not many have what it takes to win. I feel like it is more entertaining to watch than it is to play.
At the end of the day, everyone gathers at the ball field to see who won events throughout the day, followed by a firework spectacular to finish out the celebrations.
The Man-O-War Cay Independence Day Celebration is definitely a wouldn’t-want-to-miss event.