The week of August 1 to 6 will be abuzz with national events and activities as Jamaicans celebrate the country’s Golden Jubilee.
While a series of 'Jamaica 50' events are now underway, activities will reach a fever pitch over the six-day period, when the country marks Emancipation and Independence.
(Related Story: JCDC Ready to go for 'Jamaica 50')
Acting Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, said that while most of the activities will be centred in Kingston, rural Jamaica will not be left out.
There will be events in all parishes staged in collaboration with the local parish councils and various committees. These activities will be diverse in nature, ranging from gospel concerts to variety shows and street dances. Further, there will be large video screens mounted in parish capitals where persons can view the celebratory activities in the Corporate Area.
Visitors to the Golden Jubilee Village in the Independence Park complex, which opens on Wednesday (August 1), will have the opportunity to assess just how far Jamaica has journeyed since Independence, as they will see exhibitions from many national institutions, government ministries, non-government organisations and private sector groups, chronicling their growth. There will also be nightly entertainment, food, art and craft displays and much more.
The village will be open from noon to 1:00 a.m. each day and Mr. Gordon informed that special arrangements are being made for persons to park their vehicles at designated areas and a shuttle service provided to transport them to the venue.
On the night of August 1, Jamaicans will be treated to a ‘Reggae Night’ concert featuring some of the country’s most outstanding reggae and dancehall artistes.
The Jubilee Village will be the venue for the popular ‘Mello-Go-Roun’ on Thursday (Aug. 2), which will feature the best of current and traditional Jamaican dance, drama, music and cuisine.
Jamaica Praise, which is a gospel and praise dance concert, will be held in the village on Friday (Aug. 3).
Activities continue on Saturday (Aug. 4) with the World Reggae Dance Championship at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
On Sunday (Aug. 5), Independence thanksgiving services will be held in all parishes while Independence Nostalgia, featuring festival greats over the years, along with other popular vintage Jamaican artistes, will be staged at the Golden Jubilee Village beginning at 8:00 p.m.
On Independence Day, Monday, August 6, several activities will be held island-wide. These include: flag raising ceremonies in all parish capitals starting at 9:00 a.m; Western Jamaica Independence Street Parade in Montego Bay commencing at 1:00 p.m; Western Jamaica Independence Gala at the Montego Bay Waterfront (Dump-Up Beach), at 5:00 p.m; Independence Grand Gala at the National Stadium at 5:30 p.m.; Independence stage shows and street dances to be held island-wide beginning at
8:00 p.m.; and the Independence Street Dance at the Half-Way-Tree Square, starting at 10:00 p.m.
All JCDC events are free to the public, however, patrons must have a ticket as there are space limitations. Tickets will be available at Lime outlets across the island; Jamaica National branches; the Music Depot, Clock Tower Plaza; Portmore Mall Pharmacy; and the JCDC head office and parish offices.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter