St Dacre’s Carnival celebrates 45 years

March 17, 2023

The annual St Dacre's Carnival held in Alexandria, St Ann, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year.

The show, which has been held on Easter Monday at the Alexandria Community Centre since 1978, is set to provide free and fun entertainment to residents as well as increase the earning potential of the vendors who look forward to the event every year.

Speaking with THE WEEKEND STAR, Zavia Mayne, member of parliament for South West St Ann, the constituency in which the event is held, said that this event is a pillar for Alexandria.

"This event, over its very long life, has provided respite to the people, an opportunity for up-and-coming talent, an avenue for economic activity and a strengthening of the spirit of the community. We eagerly anticipate the great show this year's rendition will provide," he shared. This year's event is set for April 10.

St Dacre's Carnival was first conceptualised by the late Dr Neville Gallimore. What was originally an entertaining showcase of local sound systems blossomed into a full-fledged cultural family display and exhibition. The festival has featured giveaways and farm demonstrations as well as magicians, circus performers, the Jamaica Defence Force's air wing, the police department's canine division, rides, and other child-friendly activities. Currently the event is managed by the Alexandria Community Development Council.

Over the years, reggae and dancehall artistes such as Josey Wales, Carlene Davis, General Trees, Admiral Bailey, Busy Signal and Romain Virgo have all performed on the concert. This year, eventgoers can anticipate performances from Capleton, Beenie Man, Gyptian and other artistes and special guests.

For the 45th anniversary, Mayne said that he is looking forward to seeing the community coming together in such a harmonious way.

"It's the togetherness of the people [that is the highlight] ... [we want to ensure] that they enjoy themselves fully in a peaceful atmosphere, with an all-Jamaican showcase of food and music," he shared, adding that the event is an important tool to manage stress and build social cohesion.

"It helps to build social capital which is a public good we as leaders need to execute our mandate," Mayne continued.

Organisers have seen up to 11,000 patrons, with some coming in from the neighbouring parish of Clarendon.

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