St Helena’s Day 2017: Celebrating 515 years of St Helena
St Helena comes together for a variety of celebrations: Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, the Carnival Parade, and of course, St Helena’s Day (21 May).
The island was discovered by Galician navigator João da Nova on 21 May 1502, and was named St Helena after Helena of Constantinople. To celebrate this day, a variety of activities are coordinated by the New Horizons Youth Centre, catering for both islanders and visitors.
The day begins with a traditional parade from the Scouting and Guiding community, and a service with the Governor. This year saw Enterprise St Helena present the Commonwealth team with their kits that will be seen at this year’s youth competition in the Bahamas.
Morning parade with the Scouting & Guiding community
St Helena’s Day would not be complete without some form of sport. This year saw children and adults take on a mini-marathon, a selection of novelty sports and the infamous Jacob’s Ladder Challenge.
Other highlights of the day included live music, a local market and the ever popular bingo session.
The biggest event of the day, the Parade, started at 4pm, as floats and islanders danced through Jamestown. This year’s float theme was People and Places of the Commonwealth, to honour the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Queen’s Baton Relay. Everyone dressed in vibrant colours and traditional Commonwealth country clothing for the parade. There were two floats honouring the Queen as head of the Commonwealth. The floats were sponsored by a variety of island businesses and the winning float received a £300 prize.
A float in the St Helena’s Day Parade
The evening brought fireworks and dancing, signalling another year of St Helena.