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Hundreds Brave Rain To Celebrate Jamaican Independence & Culture In Miramar, August 7, 2011

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Braving widespread thunderstorms and heavy showers, hundreds showed up for Jamaica’s 49th Independence & Cultural Celebration (JICC), staged on Sunday, August 7, at the Miramar Regional Park in Miramar, Florida. The inclement weather could not dampen the spirits of patrons, many proudly dressed in the island’s national colors of Black, Gold & Green, armed with umbrellas, parkas and other makeshift rain gear, as they enjoyed the food, music and cultural activities, determined to enjoy the day regardless of the weather.
Upon arrival, patrons explored the park and feasted on a variety of Jamaican delicacies such as jerk chicken, curry goat and ox tails from food vendors, as well as treats such as cocnut drops, cane juice and sno-cone. Sponsors and vendors also had the attention of patrons, offering opportunities to win prizes, free massages, sample beauty products and purchase commemorative Independence clothing, accessories and music CDs.  Among some of the prizes won by patrons were tickets to Jamaica by Air Jamaica, a VP Records gift package and tickets to the 10th annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival.
The spirited crowd of approximately 1,500 were treated to a selection of “Festival Songs” by DJ Ever Never and Jamusa, building a strong Independence vibe as patrons danced and sang along to the music.  The Carimier Theatre Company delivered an entertaining set of traditional folk songs and dance, including an excellent Kumina piece. Gospel Artist Audley Rollen sang both National Anthems of the USA and Jamaica followed by the Sons of Maestro on violins. After, a parade of South Florida-based artists took to the stage, featuring notable performances by Paul Anthony, Latty Gouzang, Sharon Forrester, Mikal Rustle, Ed Robinson, Jackie Robinson and Nikesha Lindo. Reggae producers, Willie Lindo and Lloyd Campbell were honored by The United Friends of Highgate for their years of contribution to Jamaican music.
Kashief Lindo brought energy to the main stage and had the crowd on their feet dancing with umbrellas in hand as he performed some of his hits and other popular Reggae and Festival songs.  Fab 5 Band delivered a solid set, performing a varied selection of Reggae, Soca, Dancehall and Gospel classics, much to everyone’s delight.  Such hits as ‘Shaving Cream’ and ‘Jamaican Woman’ brought life into the crowd and had them singing and dancing along for the entire performance.         
Patrons entered the park walking under their umbrellas, but by the night’s end, were dancing out the park gates. Everyone is looking forward to next year, when we celebrate the milestone of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Anniversary.

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Written by Staff Writer