Jamaica is preparing to celebrate its 52nd Anniversary of Independence with a number of festivals, parades, beach parties, galas and more. Visitors to the island from July 31 to August 6 will be able to learn about Jamaica’s unique cultural heritage, during the weeklong celebrations that will entertain and excite people of all ages.
From the nostalgic merriments of Jamaica’s traditional Independence Day Gala in capital city Kingston, to the good-time guarantee of the many parties across the island, participants will have much to experience. The independence celebrations are so popular they’ve made notable lists such as a nominee of “10Best Readers' Choice BestCaribbean Celebrations.”
“As Jamaicans, we are very proud of our country and heritage. The commemoration of our emancipation from slavery and independence from colonialism provides an opportunity for us to proudly celebrate our history and our remarkable culture,” said Jamaica Tourist Board’s Deputy Director of Tourism, Marketing Sandra Scott. “These commemorative festivities give visitors many opportunities to experience and learn about the island’s colorful history. Many parties and celebrations will feature Jamaican cuisine, music and traditional folk forms– a good time for both vacationers and residents.”
The following is a list of 2014 Independence and Emancipation Day events in Jamaica:
· Seville Emancipation Jubilee (Ocho Rios, July 31 – August 1): This traditional celebration takes place at Seville Great House and focuses on Jamaica’s folk forms stemming from the island’s African roots. The all-night family centered celebration occurs on the anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and features music, drama, dance and other cultural forms of entertainment. jnht.com
· Jamaica Independence Day Festival (Kingston, August 6):The Jamaica Independence Day Festival marks the crescendo of the activities staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). The festival showcases historical experiences of Jamaican ancestors who paved the way for a new Jamaica.jcdc.gov.jm
· Independence Grand Gala (Kingston, August 6): This show held at the National Stadium has drawn in thousands of spectators. It takes the audience on a cultural journey, highlighting past and present entertainers, who have had tremendous successes on the local and international stage. The event also features uniformed and costumed groups, choirs and dance troupes.
· Bath Breadfruit Festival (St. Thomas, August 6): The annual event housed at Bath Botanical Gardens—the second oldest Botanical Garden in the Western Hemisphere—features live music, poetry and Kumina dancing. jnht.com
· Western Jamaica Independence Street Parade and Gala(Montego Bay, August 6): The street celebration features a parade, marching band and a major concert starring local artists. The morning long celebration commences at 8 am at Sam Sharpe Square in heart of downtown Montego Bay.
· Flag Raising Ceremonies and Independence Celebration (All Parish Capitals, August 6): These ceremonies occur island-wide at each parish capital to pay tribute to Jamaica’s freedom from colonialism. In attendance are local officials from their appointed parishes.
For more information on events in Jamaica, go visitjamaica.com and click on Events and Culture or speak to your local travel specialist to book a vacation.