JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has emphasised that the Government is committed to returning Emancipation and Independence celebrations to the glory, meaningfulness and fanfare of yester year.
“As a new government, we are committed to a revitalized emancipation and independence celebration and so we have embarked on ensuring that we mobilize the nation and reintroduce some of the activities and events that were considered important in celebrating and recognising our achievements as a nation,” the Minister told JIS News.
Miss Grange drew a parallel as to what the celebrations meant to her growing up and what the Government is trying to recapture.
“When I was growing up, my friends and I really looked forward to the celebrations, because it gave us a chance to participate in the costumed groups as well as it gave us a chance to be involved in the street dances and patriotic events,” the Minister reminisced.
To bring back this appreciation for the culture, the Ministry is staging this year’s celebrations under the theme: ‘One Love.One Family’, with an emphasis on the national colours – black, green and gold – for the fashion. Additionally, the Ministry, through Jambiz International and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), is spearheading the return of the Independence Day Street Parade and Grand Gala.
The parade will feature some 10 floats and costumed groups, novelty acts and include a free costume section, where people dressed in the Jamaican colours can join in the fun.
To participate in this section, persons must register at the Social Development Commission (SDC) office on Camp Road in Kingston.
Making its return, the parade will travel through different parts of Kingston and St. Andrew, culminating with the Grand Gala at the National Stadium.
Admission to the gala is free, but persons must have passes to enter. These passes can be collected at Tastee outlets in Kingston, Portmore and Spanish Town and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) office at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Hope Road in Kingston.
The gates open at 2:00 p.m. and patrons are to be seated by 4:40 p.m. for the 5:00 p.m. start. There will be a Salute to the Nation on its 46th anniversary and the Gala Show itself will have an array of entertainment that every Jamaican can enjoy and appreciate.
These include performances from reggae to dancehall acts, a sports tribute to Jamaican sports men and women who have done the country proud and a pyrotechnic fireworks display.
Jamaicans are being encouraged to come out with their families, enjoy the festivities and celebrate Jamaica’s unique, inspiring and unrivalled history.
“I would like to say to all Jamaicans that at this time of the year it is an opportunity for you to reflect on and celebrate our achievements,” the Minister said.
“We have a lot to be proud of.we have the two fastest men in the world, the fastest women in the world, some of the best produce in the world, such as our Blue Mountain Coffee. We have a music that has penetrated all corners of the earth and we have given the world a new religion through the Rastafari movement,” she added.
“As a small nation,” she pointed out, “we have achieved so much to the extent that one would say that we are little but we are awesome and so it is reason for us to celebrate and look forward to continuing to work as a united nation to build our country.”
Leading up to the Emancipation and Independence celebrations, there will be a National Emancipation Jubilee at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann on Thursday, July 31, with parish jubilees taking place across the island.
Other activities will include the Augus’ Fair and Mello-Go-Roun’, which will feature the best of current and traditional Jamaican dance, drama, music and cuisine; a national thanksgiving service and a culinary exposition. Emancipation and Independence celebrations will last from August 1-6.