JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The curtains came down on the events on Sunday, August 7, ending seven days of rich family entertainment, as part of celebrations to observe Jamaica’s 54th Emancipation and Independence celebrations.
  • Mr. Gordon, who has never missed a championship since the Competition, launched in August 2006 in an effort to give national and international exposure to talent that exists in Reggae/Roots Dance, said he is happy with the concept.
  • “It’s a good attempt. The only unfortunate thing is that if the feeling that you have here could capture and encompass all the parishes. It would’ve been a stronger impact. But the journey in life begins with the first step,” he said.

Over 6,000 people from different countries around the world logged on to view the Independence Grand Gala held on August 6, at the National Stadium and the nightly events at the Independence Village at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

The curtains came down on the events on Sunday, August 7, ending seven days of rich family entertainment, as part of celebrations to observe Jamaica’s 54th Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

According to information garnered from a Jamaica Information Service streaming source, an estimated 5,004 persons viewed the Gala online from countries, such as Finland, Germany Guatemala, Dominica Republic, France, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mozambique, Singapore, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Apart from persons viewing the shows online, thousands showed up at the Independence Village to attend the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition, Mello-Go-Roun’, World Reggae Dance Championship, Reggae to Rio Concert, Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation and other activities.

“So far I am very satisfied. We built on last year…I was speaking with a number of the vendors and they are very satisfied. They indicated that they made some money,” Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Dr. Delroy Gordon told JIS during the staging of the Independence Grand Gala.

He said the annual Augus’ Mawnin Market, a one-day event at the Village on Monday, August 1, was extended to Sunday, August 7 following requests from several vendors.

“We have had quite a number of them there and they have done brisk business throughout the day and also in the night. But overall, by just evaluating what we observed and speaking with patrons as well as with vendors themselves, I think it has been a success this year,” he added.

Market vendor Sherone Anderson, who participated in the Saturday market, said she was happy for the opportunity.

Miss Anderson sold a variety of fruits at the event, including bananas, tangerine, apples, pine, and mango. She arrived at the village at 5:00 a.m. on Emancipation Day.

“It was a bit slow at first, but it picked up after 8:00 a.m. going down,” she said. She stated that the prices of her products were not increased, even though she was selling uptown.

“I saw a lot of uptown people here and they do shop and know downtown prices. It’s the same price, I don’t put on anything that they cannot afford,” she informed.

Patrons at the Village also obtained information and accessed the services offered by a number of private sector entities, Ministries and agencies throughout the week. They visited stalls and vendor’s booths offering traditional and contemporary foods, art and craft and promotional items.

However, it was the mosquito dance at the JCDC Reggae Dance Competition, which was well received by the audience.

“I love it….even my two daughters can do it already,” Kirk Gordon said while demonstrating the dance.

Mr. Gordon, who has never missed a championship since the Competition, launched in August 2006 in an effort to give national and international exposure to talent that exists in Reggae/Roots Dance, said he is happy with the concept.

“I love it, I love what Jamaica is doing in teaching other countries to perform and exporting our dance across the globe,” he said.

Another patron, who gives his name as Roy, said he has never missed a Championship. He said one of the reasons for attending the show is “to see new moves that are in and the new moves by foreign dancers to see if it is anything that we have.”

“The new mosquito move, I kind of enjoyed that. The people, that’s good. I like to see them all come together, enjoying the foreign actors as well as the locals,” he added.

Another patron, who gave his name only as, Hugh, expressed appreciation for the efforts by the organisers to “have all areas of our culture, our music art and entertainment in one place.”

“It’s a good attempt. The only unfortunate thing is that if the feeling that you have here could capture and encompass all the parishes. It would’ve been a stronger impact. But the journey in life begins with the first step,” he said.