Cayman celebrates Jamaican independence

On Aug. 6, 56 years ago, Jamaica lowered the British flag forever to replace it with the new Jamaican flag, hailed by the island’s proud national anthem.

Every year since then, there have been celebrations throughout the Caribbean wherever a large population of Jamaicans reside, and Cayman is no exception.

In the interest of respecting everyone’s need to get up for work the next morning, the organizers of this year’s local celebrations have decided to recognize the anniversary on the weekend. The Lions Centre will be awash with Jamaican entertainers, food and drink, Jamaican products and activities for the kids.

So, don your gold, black and green – it is going to be a party!

Saturday

It all begins with a family fun day from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., kicked off by a Movers For Life aerobics class. Then there will be a prayer breakfast at 8 a.m. hosted by Cayman Believers Women’s Ministry, followed by Cayman’s Got Talent, featuring performances from local entertainers.

Saturday’s daytime event is titled “From the Pot to the Plate,” probably because “Papa” the master chef from Hellshire Beach in Portmore will be cooking up some Jamaican favorites such as ackee and saltfish with roasted breadfruit, mackerel rundown, Hellshire fried or steamed fish, bammy, festival and fried plantains. You don’t have to be from Jam to appreciate those dishes!

The kids will be kept busy with a bouncy castle, water slide and face painting.

Entry is free for the day’s events, but the evening’s Roots & Culture concert is a ticketed production. Tickets are $25 pre-sold, $30 at the gate and $100 for VIP.

Marcia Griffiths

Audience members will certainly get their money’s worth with legendary performers Marcia Griffiths and Glen Washington headlining the night, joined by Professor Nuts, Anju Priest, Anthony Malvo, Terry Williams, Spring I and Glamaton.

Marcia Griffiths has performed with some of the Caribbean’s greatest singers and bands. She started her career with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, later becoming a member of the I Threes, the trio of backing singers for Bob Marley. Griffiths went on to pursue a solo career, and the “Electric Slide” remix of the “Electric Boogie” song that she recorded in 1983 became her most successful single.

Sunday

Gospel Fest is what it is all about on Sunday night, with performances from Marvia Providence,   George Banton, Michelle T, Shawn Warren and Adrian Cunningham, among others. The gates open at 5 p.m. with the show starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 pre-sold and $30 at the gate. Refreshments will be on sale.

Tickets for the Saturday and Sunday night events are available at Funky Tangs, Fit It Celltronics, J&M Electronics and JN Money Transfer.

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