Every 30 May is Anguilla Day, which is a public holiday in Anguilla to commemorate the independence of the island-nation from a former union with modern day Saint Kitts and Nevis. That union had been essentially forced on them by the British government in 1967, but within a few months, the people revolted. The revolt in favour of independence began on 30 May, 1967.
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Despite the union with Saint Kitts and Nevis allowing Anguilla considerable self-rule, the people felt they were always outvoted and put in subjection to Saint Kitts. They therefore marched on the local police department and ousted the Saint Kitts police stationed there. This only gained them partial independence, in reality, however. It wasn’t until 1980 that full independence came. Yet 30 May was the beginning of the movement and is basically when the people declared their independence.
The Anguilla Day celebration features a “Round the Island” sailboat race that starts at Sandy Ground at 9am. A quick but colourful parade down Ronald Webster Highway takes place starting at 8am. Later in the day, many go swimming at Island Harbour or Shoal Bay, and there are many good viewing spots from which to see the sailboats until the race ends around four in the afternoon. Toward the end of the day, people attend concerts and feast at barbecues.