JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The 2019 Independence Festival Village, which showcases Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage, will be staged at the National Arena in Kingston from August 1 to 6.
  • The village forms part of activities to mark Jamaica’s 57th year of Independence under the theme ‘Jamaica 57 – One Nation...One People’.
  • It opens daily to the public and will feature a number of free family-friendly activities during the day, including lunch-hour concerts, promotional booths and displays, exhibitions, a food court, a Kiddies Village with rides and other attractions.

The 2019 Independence Festival Village, which showcases Jamaica’s rich culture and heritage, will be staged at the National Arena in Kingston from August 1 to 6.

The village forms part of activities to mark Jamaica’s 57th year of Independence under the theme ‘Jamaica 57 – One Nation…One People’.

It opens daily to the public and will feature a number of free family-friendly activities during the day, including lunch-hour concerts, promotional booths and displays, exhibitions, a food court, a Kiddies Village with rides and other attractions.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, said the village will officially open on Thursday, August 1, with the ‘Augus’ Mawnin Market’, where patrons will be able to purchase fresh produce.

“We will have a grand market. We will have good Jamaican food and [persons] are invited to come and have breakfast on ‘Augus’ Mawnin’,” she said.

The day’s activities will end with the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Grand Coronation show at 8:00 p.m, with 13 young ladies vying for the coveted title.

“This contest remains the most viable platform for our culturally aware young women to get exposure. The contest focuses on the strong qualities of the individuals and pulls out the very best and brightest of Jamaican women,” Ms. Grange said.

Other nightly events at the village include World Reggae Dance Championship on Friday, August 2; Mello-Go-Roun’ on Saturday, August 3; and Jamaica Gospel Song Grand Final on Sunday, August 4.

While activities during the day are free of cost, the nightly shows are $1,000 presold for adults and $1,200 at the gate; and $400 for children.

Presold tickets may be purchased from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Head Office at 3-5 Phoenix Ave, Kingston 10, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily and at the Independence Village at the JCDC booth between noon and 5:00 p.m. daily.

Independence Day, Tuesday, August 6 will see the culmination of festivities with the Grand Gala at the National Stadium, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

“This year, the Gala will serve as the start of our observation of the decade for people of African descent,” Ms. Grange said.

The special guest for this year’s Independence celebrations is President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be in Jamaica on a State Visit.

During the Gala, entertainers Sizzla Kalonji and Rita Marley will be honoured.

Some of the artistes, who will be performing are Marion Hall, Koffee, and Sister Pat. “For this year’s Gala, we were allocated $85 million compared to last year, which was $77 million,” Ms. Grange said.

In the meantime, she noted that on July 31, Emancipation vigils will be held in all parishes across the country, with the major event taking place at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann.

“As is customary, we will gather and pay tribute to the ancestors as we relive the final hours of slavery and symbolically usher in the new day. Emancipation Jubilee in St. Ann at the Seville Heritage Park is usually a very exciting yet emotional and sombre occasion. Everyone is invited, and please remember to take your enamel mug so you can have your chocolate tea,” she said.

Ms. Grange encouraged Jamaicans at home and abroad to join in the Independence festivities by participating in this year’s Festival Fashion theme, ‘Roots and Culture’, by wearing outfits inspired by their cultural heritage.