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By Carlena Knight

Annual Barbuda Day festivities will see a scaled down version of events this year due to social distancing protocols in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The all-day event forms part of the week of activities to commemorate the twin island nation’s 39th anniversary of Independence and, similar to Antigua, the organisers in Barbuda have been forced to trim back their schedule.

One casualty for the sister island is the popular food fair and beach bash.

This was disclosed by Yannick Beazer, chairman of the Barbuda Independence Committee, during an interview with Observer media yesterday.

“This year, we are only having three events. We are having a gift voucher for the elderly, a church service, and the ceremonial parade,” Beazer said.

“Because of the social distancing protocols, we will not be having the beach bash/food fair, but everything else will occur … a scaled down version with limited numbers.”

The church service will take place this Sunday at the Abundant Life Ministries church in Barbuda from 11am, with limited numbers of students from the Holy Trinity and Sir McChesney George schools, and police officers in attendance.

 On Monday November 2, the gift voucher initiative — in partnership with Francis Enterprise — will see 50 elderly individuals receiving a $150 gift voucher.

The Ceremonial Parade will also take place on November 2 with just the police officers, fire police and members of the army forming platoons for the parade, minus the other groups such as the Red Cross, Van Corp and students from the Sir McChesney George Secondary School.

Barbudan Senator Knacyntar Nedd and the Minister responsible for Barbuda Affairs, Samantha Marshall, will also be in attendance and will give brief remarks. The parade will begin at 8.30am.

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