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Jamaicans in South Florida prepare for nation’s 44th Independence – 2006 Activities In South Florida

Nearly 400,000 Jamaican nationals and friends will celebrate the nation’s 44th anniversary Independence with several events lined up throughout the tri-county region.

This Saturday (June 22), the Jamaica United Relief Association will host the Premier Independence Ball at the Signature Grand in Davie. Jamaica’s Festival two-time gold medallist for speech, eleven year old, Cleopatra Carr will entertain the audience. Proceeds from this event will benefit several charities in Jamaica.

A gospel and cultural extravaganza “Hallelujah…Anyhow” will be staged that same day (July22) by the choir members of the Jamaica Nurses’ Association of Florida and the Florida based cultural group, Jamaica Folk Revue at the Sierra Norwood Church in Miami. Other local artists are also expected to perform at the concert.

Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA, His Excellency, Ambassador Professor Dr. Gordon Shirley will be guest speaker at the 22nd annual Grand Independence Ball to be held on Saturday (July 29) at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Miami.

Entertainment will be provided by the Little Mento Band and local Bare Essentials Band. Proceeds from this event, which is hosted by the Florida based association, Needy Kids of Jamaica, will benefit several children’s homes in Jamaica.

The annual ecumenical service hosted by the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami, will be held on Sunday (July 30) at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale in downtown Fort Lauderdale, starting at 4 p.m.

Guest preacher will be Father Richard Holung of the Missionaries of the Poor and the officiating minister will be the Reverend Richard Ledgister of the Sierra Norwood Calvary Baptist Church. Recitals are expected from the Jamaican Independence Choir made up of choristers from several Jamaican congregations in the South Florida communities.

As is customary, a community reception hosted by the staff of the Consulate will follow the service at which nationals and friends have been invited to participate in an evening of fellowship.

Proceeds of collection will also benefit the Missionaries of the Poor and the Swift Purscell Boys’ Home in St. Mary.

The eighth annual Culturama Concert returns to Florida with a showcase of various Jamaican traditional folk art forms that include dance, song and drama.

The show begins on Saturday (July 29), in Tampa and follows with a second performance on Sunday (July 30) at 7 p.m., at the Coral Springs Performing Arts Center.

This year’s performances will include the Clonmel Cultural Club comprising Festival award-winning students from Clonmel Primary and Junior High schools in St. Mary as well as several student-performing groups from other schools throughout the island.

Local performers will include the folkloric group, Jamaica Folk Revue and the Tallawah Mento band.

The annual Culturama event is hosted by the South Florida based Jamaica Awareness, Incorporated and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

On Saturday (August 5) Jamaican nationals will be treated to an evening of entertainment at an “Old Time Street Dance” reminiscent of the island’s celebration of Independence, to be held in North Miami.

Eric Donaldson, Jamaica’s multiple Festival Song winner will be guest performer at the event, hosted by the Florida alumni chapters of St. Andrew Technical High and Dint hill Technical High schools.

Jamaicans in the Catholic mission will celebrate the annual Independence Mass on Sunday (August 6) at Our Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Church in Kendall, South Miami.

Simultaneously, Jamaican nationals in Palm Beach will also worship at the annual Independence Service on Sunday (Aug. 6) at Grace Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach.

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Written by Staff Writer