Ash Wednesday bliss promised for Bull Head Mountain
The annual Ash Wednesday hike to the Bull Head Mountain is this year being transformed into a health fair and 5K nature walk.
The two-decade-old event is held on the peak of the Bull Head Mountain in Clarendon, which is at the centre of the island, and draws patrons from across Jamaica.
This year, members of the Bull Head Benevolent Society have set out to put some structure to the event.
The organisers say they have involved members of the surrounding communities in the planning, and will be offering them an opportunity to benefit financially from the new-look event.
This year's event, which will take place on March 1, will see a farmers' village where local produce, and art and craft items, will be on display and for sale. There will also be a kiddie's village, and activities and entertainment for the entire family.
MORE VIBRANT EVENT
"We want to support the community in their interest and effort to make the event more vibrant and more in sync with what the mountain is about, which is a kind of eco-atmosphere; as well as to make use of the possibilities of nature and its health benefits," Damion Young, economic development officer at the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, said.
"It is the first time we will be having a nature walk, which is 5km from the foot of the mountain to the peak, and so we are looking to make it a safe and fun alternative to the beach and sand and allow persons to enjoy the intrigue and mystique of the mountaintop," Young added.
Tracey-Ann Mahoney, president of the Bull Head Benevolent Society, is hopeful that community members will benefit from the formalisation of the annual hike.
"People who do art and craft work will have their products on display, and we are hopeful that we will have a bumper crowd to expose this part of Clarendon. The community will benefit and we are hoping the persons who come to enjoy themselves will purchase from the participants," she said.
"There are species of birds and ferns that are only found on Bull Head Mountain, so people should come to see these things. It is also the only mid-week holiday, so people can come for the beautiful scenery and enjoy the panoramic view from the Bull Head Mountain and have a relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle of everything else," added Mahoney.