Belize Independence Fever: Pan Yaad at the Belize House of Culture


What a beautiful night yesterday! Standing by the sea, moon rising, watching and listening to five or was it six different steel bands – young and old – playing their hearts out together at the House of Culture in Belize City. I’m told last night was the largest crowd at this event in four years.

Everyone was enjoying the old school and Caribbean beatsfrom Kool & The Gang to soca tunes on steel pan not to mention the stunning decor of reds and blues against the House of Culture’s majestic white.

The countdown to Belize’s 30th Independence has definitely begun… four more days to go till the 21st. Or actually, the 20th evening for the raising of the Flag and the fireworks.

Speaking of, I still need to get a flag – I could’ve used one yesterday to jump up with the others at the end of the show!

In the meantime, off I go to cover yet another September Celebrations event.

More images from Pan Yaad night coming soon.

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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