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  • The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St. Andrew will be transformed into an ‘Independence Village’ from August 1 to 6, as part of celebrations to mark Jamaica’s 53rd year of Independence.
  • Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, said the Independence Village will showcase the best of Jamaica’s culture and will include patriotic artistic expressions, exhibitions and expositions.
  • Mr. Gordon said the village will have the character of a big fair offering daily and nightly activities in keeping with the theme ‘Proud and Free! Jamaica 53’.

The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St. Andrew will be transformed into an ‘Independence Village’ from August 1 to 6, as part of celebrations to mark Jamaica’s 53rd year of Independence.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, Executive Director of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Delroy Gordon, said the Independence Village will showcase the best of Jamaica’s culture and will include patriotic artistic expressions, exhibitions and expositions.

Mr. Gordon said the village will have the character of a big fair offering daily and nightly activities in keeping with the theme ‘Proud and Free! Jamaica 53’.

“We start at noon each day and the village opens until midnight. We will also have, as part of the village, a Farmers’ Market on Saturday (August 1), as well as lunch hour concerts between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. daily,” he informed.

The concerts will feature award-winning performances from the JCDC’s festival of the arts and other notable performers and cultural groups. These, he said, will be supported by daily kiddies play areas and food courts.

Another major aspect of the Independence Village will be the return of ‘Link up and Labrish’ where a series of intellectual discourse will take place focusing on various topics of interest.

“In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion, the first Link up and Labrish will be staged on August 1 at the Rudolph Elder Park, Morant Bay, at 3:00 p.m.,” Mr. Gordon informed.

Discussion will centre on the topic: ‘150 Years Later: Protest to Prosperity, the Journey Continues’ and will be moderated by Professor Verene Shepherd from the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The other discussion sessions will take place within the Independence Village from August 2 to 5 at 3:00 p.m. daily.

Topics will include: ‘Exploring the culture in Agriculture: Plant it, use it, sell it’ on August 2; ‘I am who I am, but who am I?’ on August 3’; ‘Behind di cloth: Seamtress to runway’ on August 4; and ‘Folk form or ramping shop? Dancehall: Movement of a people’, on August 5.

The village will also include stalls and vendors’ booths offering traditional and contemporary foods, art and craft, information and promotional items.

The JCDC Executive Director further informed that a number of private and public sector entities will mount display booths.

These include: Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), National Library of Jamaica, Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), National Health Fund (NHF), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), GraceKennedy Money Services, International University of the Caribbean, SoftSheen, and Jamaica Urban Transit Company Ltd. (JUTC).