JIS News

Jamaicans in South Florida are gearing up for the annual Independence celebrations, with several activities planned for the tri-county area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.
Minister of State for Education, Youth and Culture, Dr. Donald Rhodd, will be the guest speaker at the 21st annual Grand Independence Ball to be held on Saturday, July 30, at the Renaissance Hotel downtown Miami. The Florida-based folk group, the Jamaica Folk Revue and the Bare Essentials band will provide entertainment. This event is hosted by Needy Kids of Jamaica, a South Florida non-profit group. Meanwhile, the seventh annual Culturama Concert returns to Miami with an added show at the University of South Florida in Tampa on July 30. Billed as Culturama 2005, this event is a showcase of various traditional and folk art forms that include dance, song, and drama.
This year’s event will include performances from the festival award-winning Clonmel Cultural Club from St. Mary; the Stella Maris Dance Group; Peace Makers Mento Band; the Tivoli Gardens Dancers and popular dance group, the Nomads. Florida-based groups the Jamaica Folk Revue and the Tallawah mento band will also perform. The Culturama concert will be taken to the Coral Springs Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, July 31.
An annual event, Culturama is organized by the South Florida-based Jamaica Awareness, Inc., and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
As is customary, Jamaicans will come together for the annual Ecumenical Church service to be held on Sunday, August 7 at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale.
The event, to be hosted by the Consulate General, is expected to begin at 4:00 p.m., with the sermon to be delivered by Rev. Oliver Daley of Ridgemount United Church in Mandeville. Recitals are expected from the Jamaica Independence Choir comprised of choristers from several Jamaican congregations in South Florida. A community reception hosted by the Consulate staff will follow the service and Jamaican nationals and friends are being invited to participate in the evening of fellowship.
Other church services include the Catholic Mission’s annual Independence Mass on July 31 at 2:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Kendall, South Miami, while the Christian Awareness Association’s service will be held on August 14, at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Pompano Beach, starting at 3:00 p.m.
The 14th annual community health fair, organized by Jamaicans in Palm Beach, will be held on July 30 at the Children’s Medical Services of St. Mary’s Hospital. Hundreds of students are expected to benefit from free immunizations and physical health screening by volunteer medical and para-medical professionals from the community.
A church service will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach on July 31 starting at 10 a.m. and Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport, Portia Simpson-Miller and the Leader of the Opposition, Bruce Golding are expected to attend the annual Palm Beach ball to be held at the Hilton Hotel on August 6.
The Premier Independence Ball was held last Saturday (July 23) at the Signature Grand in Davie. Proceeds from that fundraiser will benefit health and education projects in Jamaica.
On Sunday (Aug. 7) the United Sports and Cultural Club will host the annual all day Independence Festival and Concert at the John Hopkins Park. A line-up of Jamaican and local artistes are expected to perform at the event which will also include activities for the entire family.
All three counties have acknowledged the nation’s Independence with proclamations to be presented to the Consul General, Ricardo Allicock.
The Jamaican community in Port St. Lucie, Central Florida, will celebrate the nation’s 43rd Independence with a thanksgiving service on August 7, starting at 2:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church.