The Independence Park complex will be transformed into the centre piece of Jamaica 50 celebrations August 1 to 6.
The highly anticipated opening of the Jamaica 50 Golden Jubilee Village will take place on Emancipation Day, August 1, and for six days a slew of activities will be held at Independence Park, which will signal the pride and creativity of Jamaica.
This site will be abuzz with events, as it hosts hundreds of performers and thousands of patrons of all ages from across the island and by extension, the world.
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All this is in celebration of the momentous journey of Jamaica as an independent nation since 1962.
Comprising a piano bar and a main stage, in addition to an exciting Children’s Village, the Golden Jubilee Village will be replete with entertainment and thought-provoking conversations.
Programmes Director, Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Joan Young Davis, says the events are geared toward wholesome family entertainment and will be tweaked each day to keep patrons entertained.
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"Starting on August 1, we'll be having a whole slew of activities with magicians, fun Olympics, storytelling, quiz and giveaways…We’ll be giving the children an opportunity to get a little taste of our folk forms which is the quadrille and maypole, and we’ll also be having what we call roamers, who will move through the village at schedule times to give the feel of something happening every day,” she explains.
Mrs. Young Davis says Jamaica 50 Golden Jubilee Village will feature a range of family oriented activities, all designed with the children in mind.
"An additional feature of the village will be the usual rides. We’ll also be having huge tents where children will be afforded the opportunity to experience a petting zoo, face painting, the magicians and storytelling…in a safe environment that is conducive to families coming together,” she notes.
The programme of activities will begin at noon each day, going up until 1:00 a.m. on August 1 to 5.
On Grand Gala day, August 6, the hours will be adjusted, with the village closing at approximately midnight.
Parking will not be permitted around the Jubilee Village; as such, patrons will therefore have to park at one of three locations prepared for this purpose, then use the Jamaica Urban Transit Company’s (JUTC) shuttle to get to and from the village.
General Manager, Independence Park (Park and Ride Manager), Major Desmon Brown informs that park and ride locations will be at King’s House east grounds, Up Park Camp (Duppy Gate entrance) and Jamaica College (JC).
"JC will operate on the 1st, 2nd, 5th and the 6th, the others will operate all the days. The frequencies will range from 10 minutes up to 20 minutes and we are going to assure you that we will have enough buses, so you don’t have a long time to wait,” he says.
He points out that special arrangement will be made for persons with disabilities, who will be asked to use the facilities at King’s House.
"We are asking persons with a disability to go to the park and ride at King’s House. We’re going to have an area there very close to the pick-up, which will be reserved for them to park. In addition, the JUTC will operate the bus with the wheel chair lift that will transport persons. As required, that bus will stay there and will only be used when persons with disabilities require them,” Mr. Brown says.
With regard to security, Safety and Security Manager, Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Bobby Finzi Smith, assures that safety will be a number one priority during the events and as such, a number of measures will be put in place to create a secure and family oriented atmosphere.
He says that in addition to the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force, personnel from approximately seven private security companies will be deployed at the facility.
“We have asked a number of security companies, which have been chosen based on their expertise. We have chosen security companies that are very good at backstage work, because of their experiences. We have chosen security companies that are good at access control, not only because of their firmness, but also because of their politeness,” he says.
Mr. Finzi-Smith is urging licensed firearm holders to leave their weapons at home, adding that dialogue is being undertaken with the Stadium Police to store the weapons if called on to do so.
Restricted items throughout the village include: offensive weapons, such as firearms, knives, umbrellas with sharp tips; large coolers; and glass bottles.
He is encouraging patrons to be as co-operative as possible, to ensure that the events run smoothly.
The Golden Jubilee Village (Independence Park Complex), is the place to be this Independence period.
Giant screens will be available at the Village on August 6, to allow persons to watch the grand gala at the National Stadium.