JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The event will be held on Sunday, August 4 at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, which will be transformed into a Western Gala Village throughout the Emancipation and Independence celebrations.  The Western Gala will form part of a series of activities.
  • On Friday, August 2, a Culture Talk Special followed by the Western Festival Bandwagon will be at the Catherine Hall Complex at 4:00 p.m.  A Gospel Concert will be at 7:00 p.m., which will feature artistes such as Kukudo and Minister Marion Hall (formerly Lady Saw).
  • The theme for this year’s Independence celebrations is: ‘One nation, one people’, which, the Minister noted, speaks to the diversity of the island’s culture.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, says a Western Gala will be held in St. James, as part of the island’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations.

The event will be held on Sunday, August 4 at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, which will be transformed into a Western Gala Village throughout the Emancipation and Independence celebrations.  The Western Gala will form part of a series of activities.

Addressing the St. James Municipal Corporation’s official launch of Emancipation and Independence activities in the parish, in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on July 25, Ms. Grange said that 200 youngsters are being trained to dance and perform on the field, similar to what is done in Kingston, in costumes.

“I understand that it is going to be a fantastic display of talent from the west, and then the evening will end with fireworks,” Ms. Grange added.

The event will be streamed live on all social media platforms, “and we are working on broadcasting it live on television,” she said.

Other activities will include an Emancipation parish vigil in Sam Sharpe Square on Wednesday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m., and a Kiddie’s Village at the Western Gala Village, which will be in place throughout the celebrations and will open at 10:00 a.m. daily.

On Friday, August 2, a Culture Talk Special followed by the Western Festival Bandwagon will be at the Catherine Hall Complex at 4:00 p.m.  A Gospel Concert will be at 7:00 p.m., which will feature artistes such as Kukudo and Minister Marion Hall (formerly Lady Saw).

An Independence Thanksgiving Church Service will be held at the Bethephil Baptist Church in Chatham, St. James, on Sunday, August 4.

On Independence Day, August 6, a Civic Ceremony will be held in Sam Sharpe Square, as well as a float parade. The parade will include a marching band, a car ‘sound’ competition and a festival dance party.

Ms. Grange encouraged persons living in western Jamaica to make the activities a family affair.

“I want you to have fun and enjoy Emancipation and Independence (celebrations) in this the 57th year of our independence. Use the celebrations to renew your commitment to live in peace and love, to end the crime and violence, to be your brother’s keeper and to say to the world that we love Jamaica,” the Minister said.

The theme for this year’s Independence celebrations is: ‘One nation, one people’, which, the Minister noted, speaks to the diversity of the island’s culture.

There will also be a fashion theme for the celebrations this year – ‘Roots and Culture’.

The activities in western Jamaica will be held in collaboration with the Municipality and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).