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Independence Celebrations get underway in South Florida – July thru August 2007

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As the nation gets ready to celebrate its 45th anniversary of Independence, so too is the Jamaican Diaspora in the overseas communities preparing for that occasion.

Nearly 400,000 nationals and friends in the South Florida tri-county region will join in several activities marking the celebration. Planned events will include a number of cultural presentations such as church services, balls, and concerts.

Patrons will celebrate at the annual Grand Independence Ball to be held on Saturday, July 28th at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Miami. There will be a variety of entertainment celebrating the nation’s cultural heritage. The event is hosted by the Clint O’Neil Needy Kids Foundation.

Simultaneously, the Premier Independence Ball hosted by the Jamaica United Relief Association will also take place on Saturday, July 28th at the Signature Grand in Davie.
The annual ecumenical service hosted by the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami, will be held on Sunday (July 29) at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Guest preacher will be the Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, Bishop Robert Thompson and the officiating minister will be the Reverend Winston Wright of the Grace Episcopalian Church in West Palm Beach. Recitals will be performed by the Jamaican Independence choir comprising choristers from several Jamaican congregations in the South Florida communities.

As is customary, a community reception hosted by the staff of the Consulate will immediately follow the service at which nationals and friends have been invited to participate in an evening of fellowship.
Proceeds of collection will benefit the Swift Purscell Boys’ Home in St. Mary and Experience Aviation Learning Center in Miami.

The eighth annual cultural performance “Culturama” returns to Florida with two performances on Saturday (Aug. 4) in Tampa and Sunday (Aug. 5) in Coral Springs. The showcase features a variety of Jamaican traditional folk art forms that include dance, song and drama with Festival award winning students from several schools in Jamaica. Local performers will include the folkloric group, Jamaica Folk Revue and the Tallawah Mento Band.

Culturama is hosted by the South Florida based cultural organization, Jamaica Awareness and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

On Saturday (Aug. 4), Jamaican nationals will be treated to an evening of entertainment at a “Street Dance” reminiscent of the island’s celebration of Independence, to be held in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Jamaicans in the Catholic Mission will celebrate the annual Independence Mass on Sunday (Aug. 5) at Our Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Church in Kendall, South Miami, while nationals in Palm Beach will also worship at the Grace Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach.

Jamaicans of Palm Beaches celebrate their annual ball on a Three-day cruise

Independence Balls

July 28

Grand Independence Ball, Renaissance Hotel, Miami
Clint O’Neil Needy Kids Foundation

Premier Independence Ball, Signature Grand, Davie
JURA-Jamaica United Relief Association, Fine Dining, Fabulous Music and Entertainment

August 4

Annual Independence Ball, Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando
Jamaica Association of Central Florida

Sept. 8 Jamaicans of Palm Beaches celebrate their annual ball on a Three-day cruise

Church Services
July 22
Independence service at Kendall Community Church of God,
4:30 p.m. Miami

July 29
Jamaica Consulate General Ecumenical Service,
4 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale (downtown)

August 5
2:30 p.m. Jamaicans in the Catholic Mission Independence Mass
Our Lady of the Lourdes Church, 11291 SW 142 Avenue, Miami

August 12
10 a.m. Jamaicans of Palm Beaches Independence Service
Grace Episcopal Church, 3600 No. Australian Avenue, West PB.

Other Activities
July 28
Community Health Fair at Children’s Medical Services,
5101 Greenwood Avenue, West Palm Beach,
hosted by Jamaicans of Palm Beaches

August 4
8 p.m. Culturama Celebration 2007, University of South Florida, Tampa
Jamaica Awareness Inc.

8 p.m. Kendall Church of God dinner dance at Palmetto Bay Village
proceeds to benefit charities in Jamaica

8 p.m. – 12 a.m. Independence Street Dance (downtown Fort Lauderdale)
Hosted by Caribbean Riddims

August 5
11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Jamaica Independence Festival, South Florida Fairgrounds,
Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach
sponsored by United Sports and Social Club of West Palm Beach

8 p.m. Culturama Celebration 2007, Coral Springs Performing Center

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Written by Staff Writer