Sanchez, Beenie sizzle at Paradise Weekend
From all indication, the inaugural Portland Paradise Weekend was a success.
Held from Friday to Sunday, the events attracted hundreds of foreigners and locals. One of the highlights was Saturday night when the grand stage show was held on the grounds of Titchfield High School. It featured a stellar line-up of top Jamaican and international reggae artistes who kept the crowd dancing from 9 p.m. until approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Sanchez stood out among the many performers, bringing back memories as he captivated the crowd, especially the women. He reeled off dozens of hits, including Here I Am, Old Friend, Frenzy, Missing You, Are You Still In Love With Me, and Praise Him, before closing off with Amazing Grace.
Louie Culture performed hit after hit, including Bogus Badge, Gangalee and Excellent, which had the crowd in a frenzy.
Iyara was comical in a high-quality performance, and as usual, Agent Sasco was full of energy.
Dancehall King Beenie Man, who closed the show, had the crowd shouting, dancing and cheering during a performance that lasted for about 45 minutes. Clad in a red jacket, he delivered a series of songs, including Romie, Slam and Girls' Dem Sugar, as well as several new songs.
Another performer, Pine, a United States-based Jamaican artiste, launched into a series of cultural songs which spoke to the need for Jamaicans to unite and pool resources instead of fighting against each other. Di Truth, another US-based reggae singer, was smooth in his delivery in a cameo performance that brought cheers from the crowd as he brought messages of hope. Nighthawk gave his usual 'fire-burning' performance, while Missionary Globally was short but effective. Versatile injected more energy into patrons with his hits.
Other events on the Portland Paradise Weekend schedule included a beach party at the Port Antonio Marina on Friday, while Sunday saw the all-inclusive, all-white party at Frenchman's Cove.
Pleased with the weekend, event promoter Eunice Rashford said there is a need to revive Portland and to showcase its natural resources.
"This is going to be an annual event, and it will be bigger and better next year. I am thankful for the support, and I am looking forward to more persons coming on board," she said.