The Travel Bug - Issue 2
Vanuatu Celebrates 25 years of Independence!
This year, 2005, is Vanuatu’s 25th year
of Independence – its “Silver Jubilee”! Many class the annual July
Independence celebrations as starting as early as the 10th of July and various events around the country taking
place each week. Through until the main event at Independence Park in Port Vila (the nation’s capital), on the 30th
of July, each year.
This year there was a special event that happened prior to the 10th of
July, when 10 couples got married on the 8th of July, in the nation’s largest village, “Mele”, outside of Port Vila
on Efate Island.
Other events that are happening during July 2005 are France’s National Day celebration on the
14th of July and Vanuatu’s Charity Horse Race on Saturday the 16th of July, at the “Abattoir Area” near to the Port
Vila Golf and Country Club. On the 24th of July is the annual “Children’s Day” celebrations. There will be also
Down-town march, Concerts, and Special Events held at some schools, and of course the children receiving gifts from
their parents and Godparents, along with orphans getting special gifts from community members.
These various events and general jubilations culminate in the main event of the month, the actual
Independence Day Celebrations held at major towns and villages throughout the country. Naturally the biggest
excitement and series of events for the day are to be seen at “Independence Park” in Port Vila’s central area.
Various events commence on the 22nd and go through to the 31st July, with the 30th being the main day of
celebrations at Independence Park.
Coinciding with Vanuatu’s Jubilee year, 2005 is also the National Year for Tourism. And those
keen on golfing can participate in the Vanuatu Golf Open held this year in the first week of August.
Silver Jubilee Round Island Relay – July 2005
One main event that will happen on the 30th July in Efate, is Vanuatu’s “Round Island Relay” run.
The Round Island Relay was first staged as one of the sports events organized to celebrate Vanuatu’s Independence
in July 1980. Three teams of 10 runners raced around the island of Efate, a feat that many locals at the time
thought impossible, symbolically linking the villages en route. There are 10 sections of the race with the shortest
leg 11.7kms and the longest 16kms. The race goes through traditional villages and past mountain rainforests, along
the many rugged gravel roads. Ten member relay teams compete for the grand prize of 100,000 Vatu. Local teams
already have many kilometeres of training behind them and the competition between the top teams is going to be
Overseas interest is also growing with five teams already confirmed form New Caledonia and
interest from Teams in Australia and New Zealand. Many teams though enter for the challenge and sense of
achievement in merely finishing this gruelling team event. This being such a special year, there's bound to be some
extra special effort in the race from local teams and some extra special entertainment in the Villages along the
way. (Source: VTO)
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