Emancipation and Independence celebrations launched

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Under the theme, 'Proud and Free!' Jamaica 53, the 2015 Emancipation and Independence celebrations were launched yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Culture minister, Lisa Hanna, who spoke at the launch, said a series of activities will be staged by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) to commemorate the events.

"We will also see the return of Festival Fashion. The usual annual events including Mello Go Round, Grand Gala as well as the Emancipation vigil in all parishes will take place. We want to unite the country in our major celebration," said Hanna.

A national emancipation and independence church service will kick off celebratory events on July 26 at the St Jago De La Vega Cathedral in Spanish Town.

On July 31, there will be a national celebration of the Emancipation Jubilee at Seville Heritage Park in St Ann. That day, Emancipation vigils will be held in St Thomas, Clarendon, Portland, Hanover, Trelawny, Manchester, Westmoreland, St Catherine, St Mary, St Elizabeth and St James.

On August 1, Emancipation Day, there will be a national celebration at what is dubbed Market Place on Hope Road in Kingston. The coronation of the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen takes place later that evening at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The final of the Jamaica Gospel Song Competition is scheduled for August 2. The following day sees the return of Auntie Roachie Festival and Fashion Greets Music festival, at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

On August 6, Independence Day, the Grand Gala is at the National Stadium.