Jamaica 55 celebrations set for New York

August 24, 2017
Romain Virgo

The Jamaica 55 celebrations may have ended in Jamaica, but they continue in other countries, including the United States. Come Saturday, the New York Hilton in Manhattan will host the 55th annual Jamaica Grand Independence Gala as Jamaicans in the diaspora recognise the nation's 55th year of Independence.

Hosted by the Jamaica Independence Foundation, Inc. under the patronage of the consul general of Jamaica, Trudy Deans, and the Jamaica Tourist Board, the event will be a black-tie event, which will feature a cocktail and dinner reception honouring distinguished community leaders. The guest of honour, Andrew Michael Holness, will be the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award. Awards will also be given to Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, and Hall of Fame Basketball Player, Patrick A. Ewing.

Romain Virgo and The Unit Band will offer the evening's entertainment. He will be joined by R&B singer Estelle, who will serve as co-host with actor and singer Leon. The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., and guests will be further entertained with additional sets from Likkle Big Band and Road International. Proceeds from the event will go to the Garvey Elementary School in Bronx, NY, and Woman Inc.

Richard Lue, director of business development for VP Records in a release sent to THE STAR, said the company was proud to be a part of an event that celebrates the Jamaican community.

"We are proud to be represented at such a prestigious event for the Jamaican community. We hope everyone in attendance enjoys the event with Estelle, Romain Virgo and everyone else involved," he said.

In addition to the Gala, the 55th anniversary will also be marked with a celebration of Jamaican delicacies during Restaurant Week in September, and a film festival and business forum in October.

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