Jamaica Day at South Street Seaport in New York City Kicks Off Summer and Caribbean Heritage Month in Style

NEW YORK – The sights, sounds and tastes of Jamaica are set to enthrall New York City on Monday, June 2, 2008 in what is being billed as Jamaica Day at the South Street Seaport, Pier 17. The day-long event, organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board, will kick off Caribbean Heritage Month, and is free and open to the public. Festivities start at 11:00 am.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and Director of Tourism Basil Smith will lead the island’s tourism officials expected to participate in Jamaica Day on June 2. Jamaica Day comes on closely the heels of the arrival of Jamaica Clipper which is part of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, now on its way to New York. Jamaica Clipper will dock at the North Cove Marina on June 3, before its departure the following day.

During Jamaica Day, visitors to the South Street Seaport can steep themselves in the island’s culture through authentic Jamaican music while sampling the scrumptious cuisine for which the destination is well known. Blessed with an abundance of talent, a number of the island’s performing and visual artists are expected to display their skills.

Katani’s Jamaican Holiday

The event will also serve as the launch for popular tween book series Beacon Street Girls’ latest adventure book, “Katani’s Jamaican Holiday,” which goes on sale on June 3. Founder of Beacon Street Girls, Addie Suartz, will be on hand to read excerpts, and provide fans with an exclusive sneak peek of the book.

The day will culminate with a free concert beginning at 5:00 p.m. featuring teen sensation Sean Kingston and a number of other Jamaican entertainers including Richie Stephens.

Director of Tourism Basil Smith is pleased that Jamaica will have such a wonderful opportunity to promote the destination and its vibrancy. “Jamaica Day is integral to our promotional efforts as we showcase the unique aspects of our culture — our cuisine, our music and literature to New York City,” noted the Tourism Director.

Jamaica Day will be part of the kick-off events in New York City to mark Caribbean Heritage Month to be celebrated during June. The month was officially declared as “Caribbean-American Heritage Month” in 2006 by President George W. Bush to celebrate and honor Caribbean culture as well as pay tribute to the significant contributions Caribbean-Americans have made to the United States. Since then the month has been renamed Caribbean Heritage Month by the Institute of Caribbean Studies which prepared the Bill, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

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