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Minister of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports, Olivia Grange is encouraging Jamaicans who are attending the 2008 Grand Gala at the National Stadium on Independence Day (Wednesday, August 6), to collect their free tickets early.
“In order to ensure that there is crowd control and order in entering the stadium we have printed tickets which will be made available to the public. You must not pay for any ticket, there is no charge, admission is free but you have to get your pass,” Miss Grange said.

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange (right), watches as Michael Gordon rehearses for his stint in the group ‘Ancestral Passion’, which will take part in the float parade on August 6. The Minister held a press briefing today (Aug.4), on the West Lawns of King’s House to update the nation on Independence activities.

The Minister, who was speaking at a press briefing today (August 4), at King’s House to update the nation on Independence activities, said tickets are available at all Tastee outlets, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Social Development Commission (SDC), and the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Hope Road in Kingston.
The 2008 Grand Gala will begin at 5:00 p.m. Gates at the National Stadium will open at 2:00 p.m. and patrons are to be seated by 4:40 p.m.
There will be the ceremonial arrival of the Commissioner of Police, the Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force, and the Mayor of Kingston.
Taking part in the gala will be the mass bands of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the JDF Guard of Honour, the Scouts Association, the Girl Guides Association, and the Boys and Girls Brigade.
Persons attending the Gala will also be treated to performances from Noddy Virtue, Jodi-Ann Pantry, Candy Isaacs, Freddy McGregor, Roy Rayon, and Rita Marley.
Costumed groups of the float parade will be on display, such as Ancestral Passions, Independence Symphony, Songs of Freedom, and Make a Joyful Noise. There will also be a tribute to Byron Lee called, ‘Many Moods of the Dragon’.
Meanwhile, Miss Grange noted that the festival competitions have become an avenue for aspiring artistes, song writers, producers, and costume designers, to showcase their talent.
“It also recaptures and recreates feelings of excitement and patriotism, once associated with independence celebrations. We have now brought it all back,” she said.
“We are taking an introspective look at the spirit of the Jamaican people and provide reasons to celebrate our culture, and of course, to make sure that we feel good about ourselves and our country,” the Minister added.
In addition, Miss Grange said art and culture must be utilised, not only for its entertainment value, but also to spearhead the social and economic development of the country.
The Minister said that showcasing the nation’s culture would “play a significant part in helping us to maintain our identity, despite the heavy penetration of our culture by other cultures via the electronic media.”