Jamaica Fest Set to Celebrate Island's 61st Independence Anniversary in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Washington, DC – Jamaica's rich tapestry of culture, ranging from its flavourful cuisine to the rhythmic beats of its music, is set to enthrall attendees at the second annual JAMAICA Fest.

feastJamaicans and Friends of Jamaica enjoying themselves at the first Jamaica Fest hosted by the embassy of Jamaica in the hall of the Americas at the organization of American States OAS in Washington DC. ( Photo by Derrick Scott)The event, staged by the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington D.C., is sponsored by the Sandals Group, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, Giant Foods, and EMD Sales.

The function, which will take place on Sunday, 17 September 2023, at 1 Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring, Maryland, promises to be an unforgettable celebration that will bring the curtains down on Jamaica's 61st independence celebrations in the Northeast United States.

From 12 noon to 9:00 PM, attendees will be treated to an array of attractions and activities reflecting the vibrant spirit of Jamaica. Among these is a culinary pavilion hosting a food court, ensuring patrons can savour authentic Jamaican dishes.

JAMAICA Fest serves as a platform to promote Jamaica as a premier destination for tourism. Key players from the tourism sector will be present to share information and offer promotional packages to potential travellers interested in exploring the beauty and charm of Jamaica.

Jamaica’s chief diplomat to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, who is hosting the event expressed her pleasure in being able to bring the taste of Jamaica to thousands of patrons who are expected to be in attendance. She noted that “having travelled around the United States over the past two months in celebration of our country’s 61st Anniversary of Independence, I was reminded of the significant impact Jamaica’s culture and people continue to have on the United States. I was also reminded of the strong bonds shared between Jamaica and the

United States and this festival is a fitting close to our celebration as a nation. It is a symbol of our renewed commitment to developing and enhancing people-to-people, business, professional, educational and cultural exchange opportunities between Jamaica and the United States.”

The Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport lauded the event's organizers in an official communique. "These events," Minister Grange noted, "are vital in offering the diaspora a sense of belonging and fostering unity." The Minister further emphasized the significance of such cultural events in reinforcing Brand Jamaica and assured that the benefits would resonate through the nation's capital and into the future. She also conveyed heartfelt congratulations and optimism for the festival's success, reiterating her "highest regard" for the efforts to amplify Jamaican culture in the Northeast US, particularly the DC metropolitan area.

The festival will boast live music performances, a fashion showcase, and various kid-friendly activities such as face painting. However, the event is not solely about entertainment. It is also a mission-driven initiative aiming to support underprivileged Jamaicans. As such, proceeds from JAMAICA FEST will be channeled to select charitable organizations in Jamaica, as identified by the Embassy.

This goal is to bolster the resources of philanthropic organizations in need, enabling them to achieve their goals and improve the well-being of Jamaicans. In this regard, the Embassy “encouraged the diaspora within the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia to come out in support of what is a very worthy cause and to celebrate what is the best of us as a nation and people and our achievements as an independent nation for the last 61 years.” The Embassy also noted, “that event will give the DMV area a small taste of Jamaica and act as a catalyst, encouraging the community to journey to Jamaica.

JAMAICA Fest promises an immersive experience of Jamaican culture, a beautiful blend of enjoyment, and a chance to make a difference.

Patrons will be entertained by Jamaica's two-time festival winner Roy Rayon, Ras Slick and the DBC Crew, the Sarge Band, DJ GNice, Jason Frass, and Maverick among others.