Independence Village gets new home

July 12, 2017
The image of national icon Miss Lou is placed on a banner at and put on display during Jamaica 50th Independence Gala held at the National Stadium in 2012.

After being housed at the Ranny Wiliams Entertainment Centre in recent times, the Independence Village will be moving to the National Stadium for Jamaica 55.

Gregory Simms, director of events and production at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), told THE STAR that the decision to switch location was based on the steady growth in the number of patrons that have been visiting the village over the last few years.

"This is a milestone year, a very significant one in our history, and we have expanded the celebrations so we are expecting and have planned for a bigger crowd," he said.

"We were growing nicely at the Ranny Williams, but I don't believe that it would have accommodated the kind of turnout we are expecting for shows like Festival Queen, Mello-Go-Roun and the Gospel finals."

Simms pointed out that switching location meant that the JCDC would have to fork out some amount of cash to host their events at the National Stadium, a cost they did not incur while housed at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

 

Special arrangement

 

He stated, however, that with a special arrangement made between the JCDC and Independence Park officials as well as the Ministry of Culture and Entertainment, the cost is not significant.

"We own the property at Ranny and so there would be some cost difference, but we have a good relationship with Independence Park and other suppliers that will make it work," he said.

"We are very responsible in how we spend and we know there is a whole slate of activities to take place across the island and the diaspora. We are aware of challenges with budgets and we embrace the challenge of giving an excellent product with less money. We are interested in maintaining an excellent high standard."

The Independence Village will be opened to the public from noon daily, free of cost. It will feature activities for the entire family, including live performances, promotional booths and displays, exhibitions, a food court, a Kiddies Village, rides and other attractions. Nightly shows will attract a cost. For adults the nightly events will cost $1,000 presold and $1,200 at the gate; children are $400.

FESTIVAL EVENTS

Saturday, July 29 - Ovation Concert

Sunday, July 30 - Jamaica Gospel Song Competition Grand Final

Tuesday, August 1 - Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition Grand Coronation

Wednesday, August 2 - Festival Fashion Flair

Thursday, August 3 - Mello-Go-Roun

Friday, August 4 - World Reggae Dance Championship

Saturday, August 5 - Kingston Reggae Night

Sunday, August 6 - Grand Gala

Monday, August 7 - Fireworks on the Waterfront

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