Jamaica Festival 2009 kicks off today as the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) presents seven days dedicated to the commemoration of the nation’s 47th year of Independence, under the theme “I Believe in Jamaica“.

Mello Go Roun, a showcase of the most entertaining items from the Festival of the Performing Arts, scheduled for the National Arena at 8pm today, will mark the official opening of the week of activities.

Other major activities will include Emancipation Vigils, Augus’ Fair, World Reggae Dance, Jamaica Gospel Song Finals, an Emancipation/Independence Forum along with the spectacular Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala on August 6.

The schedule of events is as follows for the Jamaica Festival 2009 Independence Celebration

July 30

Mello Go Roun – National Arena @ 8:00 p.m.

Featuring the most entertaining medal winning items in Dance, Music, Speech and Traditional Folk Forms.


July 31

National Emancipation Vigil – Spanish Town Square @ 10:00 p.m.

The heralding of “Firs’ a Augus’” through traditional folk forms, music, song and dance, guest performances and re-enactments.


August 1

Augus Fair – Ranny Williams Ent. Centre @ 10:00 a.m.

 Homage to the island’s rich heritage will be paid through games, songs, dance, folk forms and a showcase of traditional Jamaican cuisine.


World Reggae Dance Championship – Ranny Williams Ent. Centre @ 8:00p.m. 

Sixteen finalists will compete for over One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) in cash and prizes.  Top Dancehall artistes and a major sound system will provide additional entertainment.


  August 2

Independence Thanksgiving Service – East Queen Street Baptist Church @ 10a.m.

Jamaica Gospel Song Competition 2009 Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre @ 6:00 p.m.

Ten finalists will compete in ministry for cash and an opportunity for gospel stardom.



August 5

National Forum on Emancipation/Independence Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library (Tom Redcam) @ 10:00a.m.

An academic discussion on the impact of cultural policy and culture change since 1962. Panelists include Dr. the Hon. Barbara Gloudon, Carolyn Cooper, David Boxer, Sydney Bartley and Barry Chevannes.



August 6

Independence Float Parade – Streets of the Corporate Area @ 10:00a.m.

A parade of floats accompanied by costumed groups moving throughout the streets of the corporate area ending at the National Stadium.


Independence Grand Gala – National Stadium @ 4:00 p.m.

The Gala will begin with a salute to the Nation’s Forty Seventh Anniversary of Independence. It will feature several segments including folk dances, a reflection of winning Festival Songs and a Dance Spectacle.

Independence Street Dance – Half Way Tree Square @ 8:00 pm – Mid-Night.



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