'Peace doves' a feature of Float and Street Parade on Monday
Work on this balloon float, boasting the national colours, is being completed inside the National Arena in St Andrew on Saturday. The float will be on display on Monday during the Emancipation Day street parade. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Mark Golding are scheduled to release "peace doves" in Half-Way-Tree square on Monday in what is being promoted as a show of national unity on Emancipation Day as Jamaica continues its 60th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

The gesture by the two political leaders will be made during the Float and Street Parade which is a precursor to the Grand Gala set for next Saturday, Independence Day, inside the National Stadium in St Andrew.

Monday's activity will feature eight floats, seven music trucks, seven costumed groups, effigies, Jonkunnu, youth groups, and more than 1,000 participants.

"On the arrival of the floats in Half-Way-Tree square, officials of State and church will release peace doves homing doves who will return home," Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.

She said that in addition to Holness and Golding, officials will include Kingston Mayor Councillor Delroy Williams; Archbishop Kenneth Richards, chairman of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches; and Bishop Conrad Pitkin, chairman of the Committee for the Promotion of National Religious Services.

The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Hope Road, head to Half-Way-Tree, then to Oxford Road, turn onto Tom Redcam Drive and end in the National Stadium car park.

"The parade line-up also includes the Jamaica Constabulary Force, a segment representing the specialised areas of the Jamaica Defence Force, and a Jamaica Fire Brigade segment under the theme 'Outing fires for the past 60 years'," Grange told the Sunday Observer, noting that other features include a revival segment, a Festival Train segment with reggae group Fab 5, and a special balloon float.

It will also include a number of Jamaican sound systems, such as Stone Love, Renaissance, and Ruff Cut.

Grange reminded that after the event people will be welcomed at the Independence Village at the stadium complex and later Monday night will see the crowning of the 2022 Festival Queen inside the National Indoor Centre.

Last Tuesday, Grange, in an address in the House of Representatives, had encouraged families to come out and view the parade.

"We are asking people to come out early. It's a long time since we have been able to have an Independence Float and Street Parade. I am really looking forward to this and I want to thank the prime minister for insisting on us doing the float and street parade and the minister of finance for finding the additional funds so we could do so," she said.

One of the floats being prepared for Monday's Float and Street Parade is seen at the National Stadium complex on Saturday.
A workman applies the finishing touches to this float outside the National Arena in St Andrew on Saturday. The float will be on display on Monday during the Emancipation Day street parade. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
Romardo Lyons

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