Grand Gala goes online

July 16, 2020
Dancers entertain at the annual Grand Gala held at the National Stadium in Kingston last year.
Dancers entertain at the annual Grand Gala held at the National Stadium in Kingston last year.

Virtual ceremonies have been planned for Jamaica's Emancipation vigil on July 31 as well as the Independence Grand Gala on August 6. The events, which normally attract thousands of persons in well-decorated venues, are being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Culture Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange said the required protocols of social and physical distancing made it necessary to reimagine the way the events would take place this year.

The Grand Gala, which is normally held at the National Stadium, attracts more than 30,00 spectators each year and some 2, 500 participants.

In the meantime, Grange has announced a Spirit of Independence competition, which will see the award of prizes in the categories of Best Decorated Town Centre; Best Decorated Business Place; Best Decorated Government Office; Best Decorated Private Residence; Best Diaspora Community Celebration; and Best Media Celebration. Grange said that media houses would be judged through their content and the extent to which it embodies the spirit of Independence.

The theme for Independence celebrations this year is 'Resilient and Strong, Let's Celebrate Jamaica'.

"We are encouraging municipal corporations, business places, government offices, and private residences, here and in the diaspora, to demonstrate the spirit of Independence by decorating their surroundings in the national colours in elaborate and eye-catching designs," the minister said.

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