JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s rich history and vibrant culture were on display at Breathless Hotel, in Montego Bay, St. James, on August 6, as the resort celebrated the country’s 57th year of Independence.
  • The event, dubbed AMR Jamaica Fest, exposed tourists vacationing at the hotel to an array of cultural activities, including dance, drumming, fashion, craft, music and a parade featuring the sound system, coat of arms and the bobsled team.
  • Jamaican cuisine, which was served throughout the day’s festivities, was a hit with the foreigners, as they savoured a variety of Jamaican foods, such as ackee and salt fish, roasted breadfruit, escoveitched fish and jerk chicken.

Jamaica’s rich history and vibrant culture were on display at Breathless Hotel, in Montego Bay, St. James, on August 6, as the resort celebrated the country’s 57th year of Independence.

The event, dubbed AMR Jamaica Fest, exposed tourists vacationing at the hotel to an array of cultural activities, including dance, drumming, fashion, craft, music and a parade featuring the sound system, coat of arms and the bobsled team.

Jamaican cuisine, which was served throughout the day’s festivities, was a hit with the foreigners, as they savoured a variety of Jamaican foods, such as ackee and salt fish, roasted breadfruit, escoveitched fish and jerk chicken.

A semi-museum was set up displaying information on Jamaica’s currency, past Prime Ministers, Governors-General and National Heroes.

In an interview with JIS News, Director of Entertainment at Secrets Resorts, operators of Breathless Montego Bay, Delrose Bahadure, said the event was part of efforts to enhance the guests’ Jamaican experience, and to emphasise the importance of the country’s heritage.

“We really wanted to highlight Jamaica. We find that a lot of hotels focus on the Fourth of July (America’s Independence Day) and other country’s independence. We did this not just for the guests, but for the staff too, because they spend all their Jamaican holidays at work, so we incorporated them into the festivities and teach the guests that our culture is just as important as theirs and when they come here they need to be immersed in what we have to offer,” she explained.

She said the event also provided an avenue for craft vendors and small business operators to sell their products to guests.

Craft vendor, Lyssandra Fagan, expressed gratitude to the operators of the hotel for the opportunity to benefit economically from the event.

“It’s a great event. A lot of people come out and we showcased our clothing and different handmade stuff that is locally done in Jamaica… We (craft vendors) made a lot of sale,” she told JIS News.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Janet Silvera, lauded Breathless Montego Bay for creating an avenue for tourists to connect with Jamaica’s rich culture.

“I am in awe. I have been to just about every event that you can think of that has to do with Jamaica’s Independence and I must say that Secrets and Breathless went all out. There was just about every single aspect, every segment of our culture, the fabric that weaves us, all of it was on show today,” she said.

Jenessa Rosenfield from Minnesota, in the United States, who is on her third trip to Jamaica, said she loves the country’s culture, and is happy to be celebrating Jamaica’s 57th year of Independence.

“This is my third year here and I purposefully book my trip to include Independence Day, because it is so important to the culture and I love that I get to be a part of it. It just makes you feel very special,” Ms. Rosenfield told JIS News.

The Independence Day Fest culminated with a stage show featuring dancehall and reggae music and performances by local entertainers, including the winner of The Voice (Season 5), Tessanne Chin.