1 Jun 2012

Thousands head to Samoa's parliament for independence celebrations

5:59 am on 1 June 2012

Thousands of people in Samoa's capital, Apia, are streaming towards parliament for celebrations as the coutry marks 50 years of independence.

This monring's events will start five days of festivities.

Philippa Tolley is at parliament grounds.

"The streets of Apia have been full since before 5 this morning as people walk to parliament to be ready for the day's activities. Shops were open and police were directing both traffic and the hordes of people. At around 7 o'clock, prayers and speeches will start the day, followed by the raising of the flag, and the flypast by New Zealand Air Force helicopters. Later, a march past of an estimated 13,000 people is estimated to take until about midday."