50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
Mount Vernon, New York, July 24, 2012 – The small island of Jamaica will mark its golden anniversary of Independence from British rule on August 6, 2012. The City of Mount Vernon plans to celebrate with a weekend of events going on around the city.
“Mount Vernon is home to the largest number of Jamaicans in the county”, said Mayor Ernest D. Davis. “We know so many people want to go home to celebrate this milestone anniversary but can’t because money is tight. What better way to acknowledge such an important time for Jamaicans here than to celebrate with them right here in Mount Vernon”.
On Friday, July 27th the Mount Vernon Jamaican Independence Day Committee will Kickoff next it’s activities in City Hall Plaza. Nolan Miller, Committee Chairperson said, “We want to start off our festivities acknowledging the contributions of individuals to our American experience and provide Mount Vernon with a hint of tradition found in the Jamaican culture”.
Herman G. LaMonte, Jamaica’s new Consul General to New York is set to attend along with former New York City Councilwoman Dr. Una Clarke. Renowned radio personality and attorney Jeff Barnes will also be in attendance as well as for City Court Judge and current NYS Supreme Court Judge Sam Walker. The Rhythm Masters Band will provide entertainment as in addition to other local acts. A special presentation will be made to recording artist Ed Robinson for his contributions to the music industry.
Saturday, August 4th begins the weekend activities with a Carnival Fest in Hartley Park. The fun starts at 12 pm amd ends at 7 pm. Music and dance of Jamaica will be highlighted and food and merchandise vendors will set up in the park. Children can have fun participating in games offered by The Future Society and have their faces painted by a skilled face paint artist.
Also, at 7 pm on Saturday evening, August 4th, a Summer Breeze concert will be held on 4th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets featuring Reggae dancehall artist M-Gee. Hopeton Willis of Dazzles Restaurant and Bar Lounge is sponsoring the event. “”In Jamaica people regularly get together for a street dance to hear good music and enjoy one another’s company”, said Willis. “There’ll be lots of dancing and singing, just like at home”.
On Sunday August 5th at 4 pm, Oneness Rehoboth Church located at 125 East 3rd Street will be the site of a special church service. Joining Pastor A. Thomas Sr. and Minister Paul Bailey will be a Special Guard of Honor composed of representatives of the Jamaica Ex-Police and Soldiers Associations. They will add colour and pomp to the service as is tradition in Jamaica on important occasions.
Sunday evening, August 5th will begin the final phase of Mount Vernon’s Jamaica 50th Anniversary. At at 6 pm a “Jump Up” event will be held on City Hall Plaza. Featured will be a number of recording artists and dignitaries including local talent. A live sattelite feed to Jamaica will cover Mount Vernon’s celebration. Individuals in Jamaica will have the opportunity to see Mount Vernon join with other nations around the globe in the hours leading up to their country’s 50th Independence Day Anniversary.
“We’re going to show Jamaica that Mount Vernon has the spirit and talent”, said Dexter Blake. Blake, a committee member, and owner of Linkage Radio and Newspaper operating out of Mount Vernon. Blake, also recording artist with current hits on the Jamaican charts, has been instrumental in coordinating the city’s activities with Jamaica. “The organizers of Independence Day in Jamaica are excited about Mount Vernon coming on board. They are happy with the city’s commitment to the Caribbean diaspora. The new Prime Minister is planning on visiting Mount Vernon to personally thank Mayor Davis for helping us celebrate our country’s independence”.
All festivities are free and open to the public. For more information please contact Shari Harris at 914.665.2592.