Minister of Culture Lourens-Philip Invites Public to Sunday Christmas Celebration

The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip is inviting the public to come out on Sunday December 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm where the streets of Philipsburg will come alive with sounds of music, laughter, joy, hope and good will to all mankind.
At center of the parade is compassion and joyfulness- what Christmas means to each of us. In speaking with Amissa President the President of the Caribbean Professionals in Intangible and Tangible Cultural Heritage supported by Information and Technology (PITCH – IT), she explained that the parade should be viewed as a big tent under which each person, group and community can find shelter on how they choose to express and celebrate Christmas. The parade is a reflection of cultural diversity that mirrors the country.
Neville York the Department Head of Culture gave a preview of the Department’s agenda for 2015 which is in keeping with the UNESCO’s 70th anniversary in 2015 and therefore saw it fit to support the initiative taken by PITCH – IT foundation in which they are reviving a popular Christmas parade that was held for seven years consecutively with a two year hiatus in 2012 and 2013.  Based on a positive vision to promote peace, founded on equality, dignity and respect, taken forward through tolerance and solidarity between and within societies, local musical bands, elementary schools, cultural groups, popular children characters and children will meander through the streets of Philipsburg to bring light and a breath of fresh air of the holiday season spirit to the public.
Patricia Lourens – Philip the Honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs cordially invites the general public to line the streets of Philipsburg and cheer the kids on in their festive costumes as they bring the spirit of Christmas alive. The children are examples of a wellspring for creativity and innovation if we could learn from them to reconcile the diversity that makes St. Maarten richer with the human rights that brings us together.
Date:             Sunday, December 14th, 2014
Parade starts   4:00 pm
Starting at:     F.W. Vlaun and Sons, Long Wall Road
Ending at:       Parking Lot opp. Festival Village
The official start will be at F.W. Vlaun and Sons, Long Wall Road up to the Paper Garden intersection, turning left onto Front street to Emmaplein- left at the bridge and down towards the Sundial School roundabout- left onto the Pondfill and straight to the parking lot opposite the Festival Village.
Parading through the streets of Philipsburg will be:
·         The Ebony Steel Orchestra
·         Generation New Status STM Drum Band
·         Turning Point Extreme Prevention Team (T.P.E.P.T)
·         Soualiga Jump Up Brass Band
·         Sint Maarten Voluntary Corps (V.K.S)
·         Shabba Jimbay Group
·         Gunslingers
·        DJ Mr. Rude
·         La Rich Arts
·         Christian Hillside School
·         I-Can Foundation
·         Learning Unlimited School
·         Art Saves Lives Foundation
·         New Start for Children Foundation
·         Hope Out Reach Program
·         Life-size Characters
·         Santa Claus & his Helpers

On behalf of Caribbean PITCH- IT Foundation, Mrs. President takes the opportunity to wish everyone a safe, joyous and blessed Christmas and a splendid New Year!