Jamaicans in South Florida Get Ready to Celebrate Independence


As the nation gets ready to celebrate its 45th anniversary of Independence, so too is the Jamaican Diaspora in South Florida.
Nearly 400,000 nationals and friends in the South Florida tri-county region will take part in several activities marking the celebration. Planned events will include a number of cultural presentations, such as church services, balls and concerts.
Patrons will celebrate at the annual Grand Independence Ball to be held on Saturday, July 28 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Miami. The event is hosted by the Clint O’Neil Needy Kids Foundation.
Simultaneously, the Premier Independence Ball, hosted by the Jamaica United Relief Association and the Members Only of South Florida, will also take place on Saturday, July 28 at the Signature Grand in Davie.
The annual ecumenical service hosted by the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami, will be held on Sunday, July 29 at 4:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Guest preacher will be the Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, Robert Thompson and the officiating minister will be the Reverend Winston Wright of the Grace Episcopalian Church in West Palm Beach. Recitals will be performed by the Jamaica Independence choir, comprising choristers from several Jamaican congregations in the South Florida communities.
As is customary, a community reception hosted by the staff of the Consulate will immediately follow the service, at which nationals and friends have been invited to participate in an evening of fellowship. Proceeds of collection will benefit the Swift Purcell Boys’ Home in St. Mary and Experience Aviation Learning Centre in Miami.
The eighth annual cultural performance, ‘Culturama’, returns to Florida with two performances on Saturday, August 4 in Tampa and Sunday, August 5 in Coral Springs. The showcase features a variety of Jamaican traditional folk art forms, including dance, song and drama with Festival award winning students from several schools in Jamaica. Local performers will include the folkloric group, Jamaica Folk Revue and the Tallawah Mento Band.
Culturama is hosted by the South Florida based cultural organization, Jamaica Awareness and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).
On Saturday, August 4, Jamaican nationals will be treated to an evening of entertainment at a ‘Street Dance’, reminiscent of the island’s celebration of Independence, to be held in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Jamaicans in the Catholic Mission will celebrate the annual Independence Mass on Sunday, August 5 at Our Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Church in Kendall, South Miami, while nationals in Palm Beach will worship at the Grace Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach.

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