Gibraltar prepares for its National Day celebrations

Last year's National Day rally.
Last year's National Day rally. / SUR
  • Numerous events have been organised this yea to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first referendum to decide sovereignty

National Day, 10 September, is always an important event on the calendar but this year it is especially so, as 2017 marks 50 years since the first referendum was held to decide whether Gibraltar should remain British or become Spanish.

As a result, the programme this year is even more extensive than usual, starting today, Friday, with the Referendum Memorial Concert in Casemates Square at 8pm. This will be an evening of music, dance and history, for which 400 free seats will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

On Saturday it is the turn of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, who will be performing in concert at the Victoria Stadium at 9.30pm. All the tickets have had to be bought in advance, so none will be available for sale on the door.

On Sunday, National Day, the celebrations will begin at 9.30am with live music, and there will be a brief political rally at 12.25pm before the partying begins again.

There will be fun activities for children in John Mackintosh Square from 1.30 till 7pm, and music and family fun at the King’s Bastion Leisure Centre from 1.30pm onwards.

The celebrations are brought to a close with a firework display in the evening.

This year, the government is asking people to use West View Park to watch the fireworks and not St Bernard’s Hospital, as the Gibraltar Health Authority is concerned about security when large crowds gather on the hospital premises, and the area needs to be kept clear so that ambulances can go in and out.

Access to the hospital’s gardens and podium will therefore be restricted on Sunday evening from 7pm until midnight.