Jamaica Independence Day celebrations draw crowds

Revelers celebrated Jamaica Independence Day with a cultural festival on Cardinall Avenue on Aug. 7. The festivities marked 53 years of independence from England. 

Premier Alden McLaughlin spoke at the event, where he was presented with a basket of Jamaican goodies. 

“I wanted to be able to come and spend a little time with you and to offer you the warmest congratulations of the government and the people of the Cayman Islands on the celebration of the 53rd anniversary of Jamaica,” Mr. McLaughlin said. 

The event also featured displays of Jamaican art, performances of a medley of Jamaican songs, and, of course, a plethora of Jamaican food. Dozens of people braved the sweltering sun for a serving of foods like jerk pork, spicy shrimp, rice and gungo peas, and grater cake. 

Festival-goers were also offered free treats like sweet, icy “bag juice” and sugary coconut candies, favorites of Jamaican children. “It takes me right back to my childhood days,” said Dalacia Wright. 

Ms. Wright wore a traditional costume: a quadrille dress featuring a long, flouncy skirt and ruffled sleeves, made of red and white plaid bandana fabric. The costume also includes a matching head scarf. Other attendees showed off their Jamaican pride by waving Jamaican flags and wearing the national colors: gold, green and black. 

“This day is our birthday,” said Bernice Johnson, decked out in Jamaican national colors. “We fight and struggle, but we are one people.” 

Darcia Barrett from Top Taste serves Jamaican food.

Darcia Barrett from Top Taste serves Jamaican food.

Premier Alden McLaughlin speaks at the Jamaica Independence Day festival. - Photos: Kelsey Jukam

Premier Alden McLaughlin speaks at the Jamaica Independence Day festival. – Photos: Kelsey Jukam

Vendors offered items to help festival-goers show off their Jamaican pride.

Vendors offered items to help festival-goers show off their Jamaican pride.

Singer Andy Blake performs a medley of music by Jamaican artists like Bob Marley.

Singer Andy Blake performs a medley of music by Jamaican artists like Bob Marley.

Dalacia Wright shows off her traditional Jamaican costume.

Dalacia Wright shows off her traditional Jamaican costume.

Juliet Ginfillian-Connor celebrates Jamaica Independence Day.

Juliet Ginfillian-Connor celebrates Jamaica Independence Day.
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  1. Big them up fa real……………Waiting for our first one it must come….. no joke …….must come. We must grow up and think for ourselves and make our own destiny. Even the dog gets tired of being tied to the tree….

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