Jamaicans will gather at Riverside to give thanks for 55

Jamaica’s national flag.

Color-conscious Jamaicans are readying everything black, green and gold for the Aug. 6 celebration of 55 years of independence from Britain.

In Weston, Florida, nationals are being urged by the motto of the country “Out of many One people — Wear Yuh Colors” on Aug. 5 to a street dance patterned after the Kingston celebrations that culled all the cultural aspects of the island.

The annual ecumenical service in south Florida will be held at the Faith Center 5555 NW 95th Ave., Sunrise, Florida on Aug. 6 at 4 pm.

The planned events include a number of cultural presentations, such as church services, galas and concerts to commemorate the event.

In Houston, Texas, a colorful and fashionable independence gala kicks off on July 29 with Tinga Stewart.

In California, Maryland, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland and Boston the anniversary is already being regaled.

Here, the flag will fly at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive from 3 pm when the service begins on Aug. 6. Rev. Bertram Johnson will host the prayerful service with guest preacher Rev. Canon Audley Donaldson and officiant Rev. Cecil G. Riley.

For more information, call 212-935-9000 ext. 8121.

To commemorate the achievement, Celebrate Jamaica, Inc., in collaboration with the Jamaican Diaspora in Boston began a series of events showcasing Jamaica’s history and rich culture from July 15 which will continue through Aug. 12.

“Yard Food, Yard Style and Labrish” a Jamaican back yard party with authentic home-style food, storytelling, island music and games was held July 16 at the Massasoit Elks Lodge, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Local Jamaican actress, writer and folklorist Marcia Fearon performed dialect verses in tribute to Louise Bennett.

Although the food was a standout, reggae music competed with Domino playing, Ludo, and potato sack race competitions. The children played hopscotch and double-dutch.

Proceeds from the Jamaica 55 Boston celebration events will support domestic violence prevention initiatives and women’s shelters in Jamaica.

On the island, the revelry begins July 31 with island-wide commemorations and celebrations of Jamaica Festival in Kingston and Montego Bay.

“This period features many exciting events which showcases the talents of Jamaicans. A float parade and grand gala forms the zenith of the celebrations and have helped to strategically revitalize and engender the nostalgic independence celebrations,” a press release said.

Other activities include; Mello-Go-Roun, Emancipation Vigils, World Reggae Dance Finals, national Thanksgiving church services, “Augus Fair” and independence street dances.

From virtually every state, Canada and the United Kingdom consulates and high commissions have alerted nationals about the banner celebration marked by thanksgiving services and flag-raising ceremonies.

Jamaica Canadian Association of British Columbia will host a Jamaica Day Festival on Aug. 6 and slates the annual gala on Aug. 12. Bus rides and parties are scheduled in Ottawa, Montreal, Manitoba and Toronto.

On the occasion of Jamaica’s 55th anniversary of independence, the Jamaican High Commission will host a special service of praise and thanksgiving on July 29 in Westminster, London.

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