The Dominican Republic celebrated its 173rd year of independence this past Monday, February 27, 2017. 

The official celebrations were similar to last year’s, but the parade started very late on a cloudy afternoon–launching at 4:15pm instead of the usual 2pm. I’m not sure what happened, but once it got underway the Malecon was filled with Dominicans waving flags and cheering the military groups parading down the boulevard.

The parade felt more subdued than last year, while the President’s earlier appearance at the Puerta del Conde, in the Colonial City, to pay tribute to the Founding Fathers, was livelier. Go figure.

There were no protests or marches (as there have been recently as a result of the revealed corruption in connection with Brasilian construction company Odebrecht), no green shirts.

I left the pro camera behind, but these mobile images and footage will give you a feel of this year’s independence celebrations.

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Happy Independence Day, to my beloved DR! I wish you and your people prosperous years ahead, with more equality and a better future for all.

Lebawit Lily Girma

A former corporate attorney, Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for US-publisher Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic. Originally from Ethiopia, Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–fluent in four languages, she has lived in eight countries besides the U.S., including Belize, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Her articles and photography focusing on the Caribbean region have been published in AFAR Magazine, CNN, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, and others. She is the recipient of the 2016 Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

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