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No weapons allowed inside National Stadium for Grand Gala

Wednesday, August 06, 2014    

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ORGANISERS of today's Independence Grand Gala at the National Stadium in Kingston has advised that firearms, bottles and other potential weapons will not be allowed at the event, which starts at 5:30 pm.

Other restricted items include knives, ice picks, machetes, aerosol sprays, large igloos, glass bottles, frozen water or drinks, and umbrellas with pointed tips.

Dahlia Harris, the director of culture, said the police will be setting up check points to ensure that no restricted items enter the complex.

"I would say just leave them at home because they won't make it into the stadium," she advised.

She said, too, that a Logistics and Support Services Committee has been activated by the National Independence Planning Committee to ensure comprehensive security at the Grand Gala.

The committee is co-chaired by principal medical officer at the Ministry of Health, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse and Colonel Daniel Pryce of the Jamaica Defence Force, and includes personnel from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Apart from the security plan, Harris said the National Stadium has its own rules and regulations which will be strictly enforced.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Culture says there will be more than 2,500 performers on show at the Grand Gala to celebrate Jamaica's 52nd Independence anniversary. The majority of the cast consists of community groups from the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew.

According to Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, "this year, the Grand Gala will be an awe-inspiring celebration of Jamaica's global impact through the cultural and creative industries".

The programme will be highlighted by mass group formations, recognition of cultural stalwarts and a showcase of the best performing and entertainment artistes.

The gala will begin with a celebration of the Blue and John Crow Mountains as an important heritage site for its unique flora and inhabitants, the Maroons.

Another of the segments will focus on the 100th anniversary of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, founded by the National Hero Marcus Garvey.

Inspirational and iconic Jamaican singers Marcia Griffiths, Freddy McGregor and the Skatalites will be recognised during the programme for 50 years of service to Jamaica's music industry.

Griffiths and McGregor will headline the musical performances which will include Etana, Agent Sasco and the Alpha Boys' Band.

In addition to the Grand Gala, there will be celebration activities, free of cost, across the island to mark Independence Day.

The fashion theme for Independence is the national colours with a 'tups a white'. "The white symbolises our commitment to peace and preserving the innocence of our children," said the youth ministry.

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