JIS News

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, has put together a secretariat to plan the celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence, which will be observed in 2012.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the announcement in an interview with JIS News at the National Stadium yesterday (Aug. 6), where approximately 40,000 Jamaicans had gathered for the Grand Gala to celebrate Jamaica’s 47th anniversary of Independence.
Expressing pleasure at the large turnout, Miss Grange said it would be a challenge to find a venue to accommodate the crowd for the 50th anniversary Gala.
“My mind is really preoccupied with that challenge, because it’s going to be a great challenge. We are going to have to find a massive field somewhere. It is something that I am actively engaging my mind towards and how we will meet the challenges that are going to exist, with the kind of tremendous response we are going to have, and the kind of spectacle we are going to have,” she told JIS News.
She said the secretariat is already brainstorming about the theme and what the celebrations will entail.
In the meantime, Chairman of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), Hugh Nash, expressed the hope that the annual Festival will develop into an international event by the 50th anniversary.
He said he would like to see more Jamaicans abroad as well as foreigners, coming to the island during the Independence holidays to participate in the Festival events.
Jamaica Festival, he said, has a unique advantage, as the “venue for Festival is the entire Jamaica, (to reach) all 2.7 million people, so the events will be held all over.”
The Grand Gala, which featured performances in music and dancing, showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage, was the culmination of a series of Independence activities held yesterday.
Other events were an Independence Day Parade at King’s House, a spectacular Float Parade through the streets of the Corporate Area, and civic functions across the island.

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