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  • Myriad activities will take place across the island from July 30 to August 6 in celebration of Jamaica’s 132nd anniversary of Emancipation and 54th anniversary of Independence under the theme: ‘Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright’.
  • Emancipation vigils will also be held in all parish capitals that will feature cultural performances and the symbolic reading of the Emancipation proclamation by Custodes at midnight.
  • Director of Community Cultural Development at the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden-Vernon, told JIS News that the ‘Emancipendence’ celebrations aim to promote greater understanding of Jamaican heritage.

Myriad activities will take place across the island from July 30 to August 6 in celebration of Jamaica’s 182nd anniversary of Emancipation and 54th anniversary of Independence under the theme: ‘Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright’.

Thanksgiving services will be held in all parishes on July 30 and 31, with the National Emancipation and Independence service to take place on Sunday, July 31, at the Pentecostal Gospel Temple, Windward Road, Kingston.

The celebrations will continue with the staging of the Emancipation Jubilee at Seville Heritage Park, St. Ann’s Bay, from July 31 into August 1. The event will showcase Jamaica’s heritage through traditional music and dance. It will feature performances by Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) gold medal winners, the University Singers, Carifolk Singers, among others.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange explained that the 12-hour event “will seek to relive the bitterness of slavery before midnight and the joy of freedom after midnight to draw strength from the resilience of our African ancestors, who fought relentlessly against the brutality and degradation of their own humanity”.

Emancipation vigils will also be held in all parish capitals that will feature cultural performances and the symbolic reading of the Emancipation proclamation by Custodes at midnight.

The events will include candle-lighting ceremonies to pay homage to the men and women, who fought for Jamaica’s Independence.

Director of Community Cultural Development at the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden-Vernon, told JIS News that the ‘Emancipendence’ celebrations aim to promote greater understanding of Jamaican heritage.

“The emphasis this year is really getting back to the basics, our heritage. We will have a tour of the Seville Great House and its grounds, to see the history and meaning behind it, because this is one of our heritage sites that Jamaicans are encouraged to visit in order to learn and to know more,” she noted.

Other activities include the festival bandwagons from August 3 to 5, which will showcase talents in the festival of the performing arts, and street dances.

Another important part of the celebrations is ‘The Big Stage’ competition, which will give deejays, singers and dancers the opportunity to showcase their talent. Winners of the parish finals will perform at the Independence Day celebrations in their respective parishes.

The festivities will end with flag-raising, civic ceremonies and galas in town centres on Independence Day.