The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, says the establishment of the Jamaica 60 Independence Village at the National Indoor Sports Centre will be the highlight of celebratory activities to mark the country’s Diamond Jubilee.
Grange said the Jamaica 60 Independence Village will host a week of activities beginning on July 30 and culminating on Independence Day, August 6 with the Grand Gala inside the National Stadium.
She was speaking earlier this week during her contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
“The Jamaica 60 Grand Gala will indeed be a grand affair. It will be a cultural celebration befitting this moment in our history. We will reach out to communities across Kingston & St Andrew and St Catherine to recruit performers for this exciting showcase which will also feature cultural communities representing the diversity of our ‘Out of Many One People (motto),” said Grange.
She said the other parishes will have their own activities as all of Jamaica will be "re-ignited with patriotism".
The minister disclosed that the Grand Gala will be linked via video technology to watch parties taking place simultaneously across the Jamaican Diaspora allowing Jamaicans overseas to interact with their fellow Jamaicans inside the National Stadium and vice versa.
The Jamaica 60 Independence Village will feature daily activities and nightly entertainment including the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation, Mello Go Roun, a Film Night, a Jamaica Music through the years Night, among other activities.
And Grange also disclosed that for Emancipation and Independence, Jamaica will welcome special guests from two of the leading African nations.
The Emancipation Day holiday which is observed on August 1 will see the return of the float and street parade.
“It will feature spectacular floats, eye-popping costumed groups and a range of exciting performing elements. We will welcome the return of masquerade bands, Jonkunu and effigies in honour of our National Heroes and cultural icons,” said the culture minister.
She is encouraging Jamaicans to join the spirit of independence campaign by decorating their spaces - businesses, government offices, town centres, churches, community centres, and other public spaces in the national colours.
“Wear the black, green and gold with pride. Wear it bold. Show your creativity as we celebrate the greatest little island in the world,” the minister said.
Other major Jamaica 60 celebratory events that will take place this year include:
-Independence Interfaith Service on July 31;
-Banquet hosted by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Mrs Holness, honouring 60 outstanding women on September 25 which marks the 27th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Declaration on women’s rights;
-Banquet, hosted by the Prime Minister and Mrs Holness, honouring 60 outstanding men to take place on International Men’s Day on November 19;
-The Kingston Biennial Exhibition at the National Gallery of Jamaica from June 26 to July 31;
-The Jamaica Defence Force 60 Parade on June 29.
Additionally, healthcare workers will be recognised through two main activities. The first is the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation event to take place in September. The Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation will be presented to nominated healthcare workers in each region. The second event will see the Mary Seacole Medal being presented to each healthcare worker in appreciation for all that they continue to do to take care of the nation Grange said.