JIS News

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is sponsoring the all-Jamaican masquerade band, ‘Jamaican Twist’, at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, which will hit the streets of London England on August 29 and 30.
The JTB branding will appear on the colourful Jamaican Twist float, along with images of Jamaica, to give a true sense of what the island has to offer visitors.
District Sales Manager of the JTB, Torrance Lewis, told JIS News that in addition to encouraging more Londoners to take part in the Carnival, the JTB was supporting the Jamaica Twist band to bring a true flavour of the culture and the ‘great’ vibe of Jamaica to what has become Europe’s biggest summer festival.
In addition, he said the Tourist Board is running a competition for travel agents to be a part of the Jamaica Twist troop.
“With everyone in the carnival holiday mood, a Jamaican specialist travel agent, SN Travel, will be handing out flyers with a booking incentive to encourage people to book a holiday. The JTB is also running a competition in Travel Weekly, for agents to win an amazing opportunity to join Jamaican Twist along the carnival route on Monday, August 31. The lucky prize winners will be given their own carnival costume to wear and be part of the masquerade troop,” Mr. Lewis said.
The Jamaican Twist Carnival Mas band, which was founded in 2002, brings together people from different backgrounds and ages. It includes first, second and third generation Jamaicans.
Chris Shaw, one of the organisers, said the JTB’s sponsorship had given the group an official stamp of approval.
“We have been involved in Carnival for a long time and we have been carrying the flag for Jamaica. We are the only strictly Jamaican Mas band and we have been promoting Jamaica with a very positive vibe, so the JTB support makes us feel very proud and it has given us an official stamp of approval,” he said.
According to Mr. Shaw, this year, the Jamaica Twist costumes and parade will be based on traditional Anancy stories.
“Last year the theme was the National Bird, the Doctor Bird, and that went down very well. This year it is Anancy stories and we will feature two of the main characters from the Anancy stories, Tiger and the Bull Frog, although we have changed the tiger into a lion and the costume King will be Anancy of course,” he said.
The Anancy costume will be worn by Joshua Robinson, a second generation Jamaican performing arts student, who will be doing this for the first time. The Jamaica Twist costume troop will be made up of some 60 persons, but the band will also include scores of others in branded t-shirts.
Carnival in London began in January 1959 in the St. Pancras Town Hall, as a response to the state of race relations at the time and the Notting Hill race riots the previous year.
The carnival has attracted up to two million people in the past, making it the second largest street festival in the world, after the Rio Carnival in Brazil.

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