According to the Minister, the theme serves as a reminder of the key factors in Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence – unity and togetherness. Speaking at the Launch of Jamaica 54 at the Pegasus Hotel yesterday, Thursday, June 17, 2016, Minister Grange said, “The content and the context of this year’s activities will not only commemorate our historic movement into Emancipation and Independence, but will also spur a sense of belonging to the nation.”
“From Sunday, July 31 to August 6, the island will be engulfed in a series of events and activities to celebrate our Emancipation and Independence. Every community, corner, street, lane, nook and cranny of the island and of course those in the Diaspora are expected to come alive and celebrate together as proud Jamaicans,” Minister Grange added.
Minister Grange outlined that special homage will be paid to the ancestors, with the Emancipation Vigil at Seville on the eve of Emancipation Day, July 31 and that the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre will once again be transformed into the Independence Village, showcasing the best of Jamaica’s culture through artistic expressions, exhibitions and expositions.
The Culture and Entertainment Minister, made it clear that rural Jamaica will not be left out of the celebrations as the spirit of volunteerism and patriotism will be rekindled islandwide.
“The Jamaica 54 Celebrations will span the length and breadth of the island and will include Church Services, Parish Vigils, Flag Raising Ceremonies, Festival Bandwagons, Public Fora, Street Dances, Independence Concerts and Stage Shows,” Minister Grange said, adding, “Citizens are encouraged to get involved in the planning and execution of the various events to appropriately commemorate the significant achievements of the nation.”
The National Emancipation and Independence celebratory activities will include:
- The National Emancipation and Independence Thanksgiving Church Service at the Pentecostal Gospel Temple on Windward Road in Kingston – July 31
- Emancipation Vigil at Seville in St Ann – July 31
- Jamaica Gospel Song Competition Final – July 31
- Augus’ Mawning Market – August 1
- Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation – August 1
- Aunty Roachy Literary Festival – August 2
- Fashion Greets Music Showcase – August 2
- Mello-Go-Roun’ – August 3
- World Reggae Dance Championship – August 4
- Reggae to Rio – August 5
- Grand Gala – August 6
Minister Grange also noted that Jamaicans are expected to show off their style and creativity with the festival fashion theme: ‘Wear it Gold and Stripe It Bold’ throughout the entire season, especially at the Independence Grand Gala on August 6.
In highlighting that the National Stadium will come alive on Independence Day with the staging of the Grand Gala, the Minister said, “Those who will not be able to make it into the stadium will have the opportunity to share in the festivities via television, live streaming online via the internet, or at any of the viewing sights on large media-boards.”
She added that the Independence Village at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre will also be a major viewing site.