The Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange
Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister Olivia Grange said the establishment of the Jamaica 60 Independence Village at the National Indoor Sports Center will be the culmination of celebratory activities to mark the country’s Diamond Jubilee.
Grange said Jamaica Independence Village 60 will hold a week of activities beginning July 30 and culminating on Independence Day, August 6, with the Grand Gala inside the National Stadium.
She was speaking earlier this week during her contribution to the sectoral debate in the House of Representatives.
“The Jamaica 60 Grand Gala will indeed be a grand affair. It will be a cultural celebration worthy of this moment in our history. We will be reaching out to the communities of Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine to recruit performers for this exciting showcase which will put also featured cultural communities representing the diversity of our “Out of Many One People (motto),” Grange said.
She said other parishes will have their own activities as all of Jamaica will be “rekindled with patriotism.”
The Minister revealed that the Grand Gala will be linked via video technology to watch the parties unfold simultaneously across the Jamaican Diaspora, allowing overseas Jamaicans to interact with fellow Jamaicans inside the National Stadium and vice versa.
Jamaica 60 Independence Village will feature daily activities and nightly entertainment including Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation, Mello Go Roun, Movie Night, Jamaican Music Night Through the Years, among other activities.
And Grange also revealed that for emancipation and independence, Jamaica will welcome special guests from two of Africa’s leading nations.
Emancipation Day which is observed on August 1 will see the return of the float and street parade.
“It will feature spectacular floats, stunning costumed groups and a range of exciting performance elements. We will welcome the return of masked bands, Jonkunu and effigies honoring our national heroes and cultural icons,” the Minister of Culture said.
It encourages Jamaicans to join the spirit of the independence campaign by decorating their spaces – businesses, government offices, town centers, churches, community centers and other public spaces in the national colors.
“Wear black, green and gold with pride. Wear it bold. Show your creativity as we celebrate the biggest little island in the world,” the Minister said.
Other major Jamaica 60 celebration events taking place this year include:
– Interreligious Independence Service on July 31;
– Banquet hosted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Mrs. Holness, in honor of 60 exceptional women on September 25, which marks the 27th anniversary of the historic Beijing Declaration on the Rights of Women;
-Banquet, hosted by the Prime Minister and Mrs. Holness, in honor of 60 exceptional men which will take place on November 19 on the occasion of International Men’s Day;
-The Kingston Biennial Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica from June 26 to July 31;
-The parade of the Jamaica Defense Force 60 on June 29.
Additionally, healthcare workers will be recognized through two main activities. The first is the presentation of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation which will take place in September. The Premier’s Medal of Appreciation will be presented to nominated health care workers in each region. The second event will see the Mary Seacole Medal given to each healthcare worker in recognition of all they continue to do to care for the nation, Grange said.