- The total cost of staging the Independence activities over the seven (7) day period was $87million
- 27,500 persons attended the Gala at the National Stadium
- Planning for next year’s celebration has started
The Ministry of Youth and Culture updated Cabinet on Monday, August 12 on the staging of this year’s Independence activities.
The Ministry disclosed that the total cost of staging the Independence activities at both the parish and nation levels over the seven (7) day period was $87 million. These activities included: Parish church services, National Independence Thanksgiving Service, Mello Go Roun’, Jamaica Festival Song Showcase, Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation, Jamaica Gospel Song National Finals, World Reggae Dance Championship, the construction and maintenance of the Independence Village for five (5) days and nights, the reasoning sessions and the Grand Gala at the National Stadium.
The Ministry is also reporting that in addition to tickets for the Grand Gala which were distributed to the public through several advertised private sector outlets and the JCDC offices, the usual practice of providing all Members of Parliament (MPs) with tickets for their constituencies was maintained with all MPs in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine receiving between 100 and 200 tickets each for distribution in their constituencies.
The report from the Fire Service is that 27,500 persons attended the Gala at the National Stadium.
The Ministry noted that the Grand Gala, which was designed around a theme tracing Jamaica’s history and cultural development utilizing the creative arts, was successful and that the willing contribution and participation of many Jamaicans contributed greatly to its success. The artistic performances, the Culture Ministry said, featured a synergy between professional dancers and dancers from several communities in Kingston including Rockfort, Majesty Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, and Windward Road among others.
In pointing to some of the major highlights of Independence 2013, such as Eric Donaldson’s “Land of My Birth” being voted the best festival song by the public; Miss Manchester Krystal Tomlinson being crowned Jamaica’s Festival Queen; and the dance group Attack Dem from Japan taking the top prize as winners of the World Reggae Dance Championships, the Culture Ministry noted that planning for next year’s celebration has started.