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Jamaica Festival 2014 Launched

Jamaica Festival 2014

Preservation and recycling are not strange bedfellows and they are destined to come together again this summer under the mandate of Jamaica Festival 2014. The Ministry of Youth and Culture recently unveiled a programme of 20 activities 6 to culminate with the Emancipendence celebrations  under the slogan ‘This is Jamaica, My Jamaica’ to celebrate the island’s 52nd year of independence.

The 2014 Jamaica Festival has been presented as an expanded affair that now stretches from July 6 through to the Independence Day. Several of the events will be hosted at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre which will again host the Jamaica Festival Village from July 31 - August 6. 

Six of the named events are either new to the festival celebrations or have been rebranded and re-introduced into the Jamaica Festival activities. New elements include Live Music Tuesdays (across the island), Independence Conversations (held Sundays at the Institute of Jamaica from July 6 - 27), Heart of Ska International Festival (Saturday, August 2, Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre), National Family Day and the Auntie Roachie Festival. 

The Auntie Roachie Festival will be held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Sunday August 3, and will combine film, television and the literary arts. It will comprise a book fair, poetry reading and story telling and will also screen short films and trailers for upcoming television shows. The festival currently has a call for scripts (deadline June 13, 2014).

The Pop and Variety Show is among those which have been rebranded and returned the festival showcase, now dubbed The Big Stage, and will have performers competing at the community, parish and eventually national levels. The final show will take place on Sunday July 20, at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The culinary festival also makes a reappearance, now branded the Dutchie Culinary Festival. It’s slated take place on Sunday, August 3, at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The Independence Ball is another of this year’s revivals. Slated to take place at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday, August 5, it is being used to raise funds children in state care.

Of course, the regular suspects also return to the Jamaica Festival Calendar of events. These included the celebrations of the Drums which will take over town squares across the island on Friday August 1. After being heralded in by the Emancipation Vigils and Jubilee (July 31 at the Seville Heritage Park) Emancipation Day will also feature Mello Go Roun which will be held at the Festival Village. 

Other major events include the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Coronation (July 19) as well as the Jamaica Gospel Song (July 26) and Jamaica Festival Song (July 27) Competitions. All three will take place at the Festival Village.

The National Gallery of Jamaica will also celebrate its 40th anniversary with a retrospective exhibition which will open on July 27. The 2014 celeberation of Jamaica's independence will also re-introduce festival colours, the national colours and a 'tups' of white.