WASHINGTON, DC – Art, music, food, and other facets of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage which were on full display on the weekend gave a significant boost to the island’s profile in the American capital city.
Jamaica Fest featured major entertainment and cultural components, all designed to showcase the island to the greater Washington DC community and beyond. The Jamaican Embassy organized the delightful cultural extravaganza on Saturday, October 29, as part of yearlong activities to celebrate the country’s 60th anniversary of independence.
The historic Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters, in Washington, DC, provided the perfect downtown venue for an afternoon of music and dancing.
A key highlight of the Embassy’s Jamaica Independence calendar for this year. The event brought together hundreds of Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica residing in the district-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) metro region.
“Our heritage is world renowned and a source of great pride to Jamaicans at home and abroad,” declared Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Jamaica Ms. Nicola Barker-Murphy, commenting on the festive affair. “Our food, arts, music, culture, and heritage were a stimulation to the senses and a wonderful reminder of all that we have to be proud of.”
The OAS Hall of the Americas was converted into a grand market. They had more than 15 booths showcasing a variety of Jamaican products. Products ranging from art and craft to delectable fare catered by the Maryland-headquartered Island Quizine.
Chief Executive Officer of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA,) Andrew Wynter, who was on hand along with a four-man delegation. Wynter described Jamaica Fest as a great way of bringing members of the diaspora together. He said his agency handled over 200 applications for both passports and citizenship by descent.
Among the Sponsors were Grace Remittances, Jamaica National Money Service, Wray & Nephew, National Baking Company, EMD Sales, VM Building Society, Jamaica National Associations, Jamaica Tourist Board and Wellspring Manor and Spa.
An entertainment package delivered by popular Jamaican songbird, Ikaya Ras Slick and the Dutty Bus Crew band. In addition, poet, Dr. Claire Nelson, Dancers, Karnival Bounce Crew, saxophonist, Maverick and DJ Prince Royal.