COMMEMORATION / 175th anniversary of the Abolition of slavery: a major cultural show “Sailing to Freedom” organized in Friar's Bay on May 28!


The Collectivity of Saint-Martin and its Culture department are pleased to invite you to the cultural performance “Sailing to Freedom”, which will be held on Sunday May 28, 2023 at 18 p.m., on Friars’Bay beach.

On May 27, 1848, France abolished slavery after many years of discussions and waiting. In Saint-Martin, the official abolition took place a day later, on May 28, 1848. A national decree attests to this historical truth. The show "Sailing to Freedom" recounts the historical period when slaves decided to flee by sea to Anguille, 15 years before French abolition. The island of Anguille having abolished slavery in 1833, many slaves from both parts of the island of Saint-Martin chose to flee to Liberty by crossing the channel of Anguille. The show retraces this period and the beginning of the emancipation of the slaves present on our island. It will be played in the original language, Saint-Martin English.

The Collectivity of Saint-Martin carries out the official commemoration each year on May 28, at the Agrément roundabout. This ceremony in the presence of the officials of the territory will take place from 16:30 p.m. to 17:30 p.m. and will include a formal program consisting of official speeches (president and prefect) and a wreath laying near the Lady Liberty statue, symbol of freedom. The ceremony will be followed by the cultural show which will begin at 18:00 p.m. on Friar's Bay beach (at the end of the beach, Friar's Bay Beach Café side). The “Sailing to Freedom” show is open to the general public (free), it will be introduced by the president of the Culture Commission, the territorial councilor Valérie Damaseau, followed by the artistic performance. The Community is waiting for you!

The Collectivity will provide free round-trip shuttles, between the parking lot of the sports center of La Savane and the beach of Friar's Bay, in order to allow spectators to easily access the site.

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