Celebrate all things Jamaican on Independence Day

Cayman will party with its close
neighbour as Jamaica celebrates its Independence Day on Friday, 6 August.

This is the 48th celebration of
Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom, gained in 1962.

Organised by Roma United Football
Club, the official Jamaican Independence celebration takes place under the
patronage of the honorary Jamaican consulate and will take over Cardinal Avenue
for the duration of the day. The event will celebrate all things Jamaican and
present an opportunity for the Jamaicans of Cayman to catch up and get a true
taste of home. However, it is also the perfect opportunity for all the other nationalities
in Cayman to see, hear and taste some of the unique aspects of Cayman’s close
neighbour. Entry to all the events is free, with contests and giveaways
throughout the day.

Food and crafts

From breakfast through lunch to
dinner and beyond, food will play a very important role in the celebrations.
All the traditional favourites will be there, including ackee and salt fish,
roasted breadfruit, blue draws, coconut drops and that most famous of Jamaican
flavours, jerk.

“This year we have a jerk festival,
which is sponsored by Grace, and we’ll have seven or eight stalls with people
jerking various foods – chicken, pork, whatever they want to jerk,” said event
organiser Banny Stephenson.

There will also be a jerk
competition, judged by a panel of distinguished guests.

The celebration will also feature
arts and crafts with a unique Jamaican flavour, with vendors displaying their
unique products and creations. Some of the artist exhibiting will be Faye
Lazarus, Lorna Reid and Andrew Thompson.


The day will close with a concert
celebrating Jamaican culture. The event will take place in the parking lot of
Reflections off Godfrey Nixon Way.

The evening, just like the rest of
the event, is a family-friendly affair and organisers said the acts invited to
take part were chosen accordingly.

The event will kick off at 8pm and
will be opened with the singing of the national anthems of the Cayman Islands
and Jamaica. As this is the official Jamaica Independence Day celebration in
Cayman, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s message will also be read by
Acting Honorary Council Elaine Harris.

As is traditional, the concert will
start with music by local gospel artists including Michelle T and Life
Unlimited, who will take the stage at 9pm to set the tone for the evening. More
acts will follow, including the Hype Squad dance troupe which is certain to
kick up the energy level of the night.

The evening will also feature a
video tribute to poet Louise Bennett-Coverley, the Jamaican folk hero and
cultural icon who passed away in 2006.

The highlight of the evening will
be a performance by the Jamaican comedy duo Ity and Fancy Cat. With their own
television series in Jamaica, the two are famous throughout the region. They
also present proof that in spite of humble beginnings in Trench Town, it is
possible to rise above your circumstances, which is a very important message
for the youth of Cayman.

The event is sponsored by Digicel,
Grace, National Building Society, Western Union, Observer on Sunday, Welly’s
Cool Spot, Reflections, Appleton, Heineken, Seaboard, Partysurfers.ky, Hot
104.1FM, Breeze FM, and Vibe 98.9FM.

“Digicel is happy to support the
organizers of the Jamaica Independence event on 6th August. We wish the
Jamaican people all the best in their celebrations,” said Victor Corcoran, CEO
of Digicel Cayman.

The Observer on Sunday is also one
of the sponsors of the event.

“The Observer on Sunday is honoured
to be involved in an event that brings together the Cayman community in a celebration
of Jamaican culture and the close links between the two countries,” said Anne
Mason, marketing supervisor at Cayman Free Press.


Celebrations will abound on Jamaican Independence Day.
Photo: Jewel Levy