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Plans are well advanced for the hosting of this year’s Independence and Emancipation celebrations.
This was announced today (July 15), by Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, at a JIS Think Tank.
The events, organised by the JCDC under the theme: ‘I believe in Jamaica’, will take place from July 30 to Independence Day, August 6. This year, Jamaica celebrates 47 years as an Independent nation, and it will also mark 12 years since the country officially resumed Emancipation Day celebrations on August 1.
“We are ready. We are just waiting on the confirmation of some dates. Based on our plans and everything, we are two weeks away from the events in terms of preparedness,” Mr. Gordon said.
To kick off the Festival celebrations is the Mello Go Roun’ show, featuring the most entertaining performances from the Festival of the Performing Arts.

Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Delroy Gordon, speaking at the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) weekly Think Tank session held today (July 15) at the JIS office, Half-Way-Tree Road Kingston. Mr. Gordon spoke on plans for the Emancipation/Independence Celebrations 2009.

Mr. Gordon said the show, which will be staged at the National Arena on July 30, beginning at 8:00 p.m., will provide wholesome entertainment for the entire family.
Included in the week of celebrations, he said, are the Jamaican Gospel Song finals, scheduled for August 2, at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, in Kingston, and an Emancipation/Independence Forum, to be hosted by the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, on Wednesday, August 5.
Mr. Gordon said that a visual impact and awareness programme has been included in the celebrations, and will involve Festival fashions, a shop window display competition and the decoration of town squares islandwide.
He urged citizens to participate in the various events, and “to display a consistent sense of nationalism.”
“For seven memorable days, Jamaica Festival 2009 will see the spirit of the Jamaican people being mobilised through various expressions of the vitality and range of Jamaican cultural activities,” Mr. Gordon said.
He pointed out that the return of the National Festival Song Competition, the Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala in 2008 were “met with great enthusiasm.”
“Not only did they provide wonderful nostalgia for Jamaicans, but the celebrations expanded in magnitude and therefore, it was a pleasant surprise, particularly for the younger generation, who had never witnessed this kind of spectacle before,” Mr. Gordon said.
This year, Independence Day will begin with a State ceremony and military salute on the lawns of King’s House at 8:00 a.m. During the ceremony, the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding and Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller, will deliver their respective Independence Day messages.
Later in the day, there will be a Street Parade starting at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, Hope Road, in Kingston, and culminating at the National Stadium in Kingston, where the Grand Gala will be held.
“Last year the stadium was packed to capacity and this year we expect no less,” Mr. Gordon said.
The Executive Director said that the JCDC will shortly be announcing the venues where persons can obtain tickets to attend the function. “Although admission is free, persons are going to be admitted by tickets only and this is primarily to ensure security and crowd control,” he said.