JIS News

One million dollars will be up for grabs this year at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) World Reggae Dance Championships.
The competition will form part of the JCDC’s week-long series of events and activities in celebration of Jamaica’s 170 years of full emancipation and 46 years of independence.
This was disclosed by Danielle Hopkins, Public Relations Coordinator, at the JCDC as she spoke to JIS News about plans for Emancipation and Independence celebrations.
“The JCDC will be providing a slew of family oriented activities that are really intended to get each and every Jamaican involved. This is really our time to come out and show why we are proud to be Jamaicans,” she stated.
The Dance Championships, which is in its third year, will feature street dancers from across the island who were selected through an audition. The dancers, who will perform in groups of four or more, will be judged in the genres of reggae and dancehall with the winners receiving $1 million. The event will be hosted at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Emancipation Day commencing at 8:00 p.m.
Jamaicans will also have many opportunities to show their patriotism as well as embrace and better understand their rich heritage through a number of events geared towards showcasing the country’s culture and history from July 31 to August 6, 2008.
“We will have a National Emancipation Vigil at the Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann with Parish vigils taking place across the island, August Fair and Mello Go Round, which will feature the best of current and traditional Jamaican dance, drama, music and food,” Ms. Hopkins revealed.
There will also be a National Thanksgiving Service and a Culinary Exposition. The festivities will also see the return of the Independence Street Parade.
Some 10 floats and costume groups will travel from the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, through Half-Way Tree, down to Marescaux Road and to the National Stadium, where the Independence Gala will take place.
“We want to encourage everybody to wear the national colours in support of the effort as the independence parade will have a free costume section where people in their colours can come out and be a part of the parade,” the Public Relations Coordinator informed, while explaining that Montego Bay will also have a Street Gala on its ‘Hip Strip’.
Under the theme ‘Jamaica Festival: One Love, One Family’ the JCDC, is hoping to connect with Jamaicans on the issue of unity.
“With so many negative things happening in Jamaica right now the Emancipation and Independence Celebrations are a way for the JCDC to say, Jamaica unite,” Ms. Hopkins pointed out.
The JCDC’s mission is to enhance national development through cultural practices by creating opportunities that unearth, develop, preserve, and promote creative talents and expressions of the Jamaican People.