13 June 2022
Birmingham is gearing up to celebrate 60 years of Jamaican independence – with a Caribbean-style cultural spectacular for all age groups.
The showpiece summer events marking six decades of independence for the sunshine island include a wide array of musical performances from reggae to poetry, starring international, national and local artists.
Organiser Beverly Lindsay (pictured), chair of the Association of Jamaican Nationals, said: “This is a very special landmark year, for Jamaicans all over the world.
“The Jamaican diaspora in the UK and indeed the Birmingham community will be in the spotlight with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence.
“All our usual popular outdoor spaces will be occupied by the organising committee of the Games, so we are unable to host our signature event ‘Jamaica in the Square’ as we had previously hoped.
“However, we cannot allow this significant milestone in our island’s history to pass without celebrating in true Jamaican style.”
Celebrations start on 23 July at Birmingham Town Hall with a special cultural extravaganza and salute to the Commonwealth Games featuring a string of local and international artistes including Jamaican tenor Steve Higgins, Caroll Thompson, the Bee Niice Choir, Winston Francis, Abigail Kelly, the Note Benders featuring Sweto Kinch, Melika Queely and others.
Meanwhile, on 6 August, organisers will be hosting a flag raising ceremony in Victoria Square, starting at 3pm, with the entire day dedicated to a Jamaican theme.
And later that day, a Jamaica 60th Grand Gala Fundraising Dinner and Awards will be held from 6.30pm at the Eastside Rooms in Birmingham, when guest speaker will be US Federal Judge Norman Hemming III.
Beverly, who is among West Midlanders selected to be a baton-bearer for the Games, said: “The awards presentation will recognise some of our country’s most inspiring individuals who have made selfless contributions to the Jamaican diaspora at home and abroad.
“There will also be a great opportunity to develop networks with an audience of approximately 500 community and business leaders.”
The celebrations conclude on 14 August with a special service of praise and thanksgiving from 3pm at New Testament Church of God Handsworth, recognising and giving thanks to the hosting and delivery of the Commonwealth Games.
For more information on sponsorship opportunities and tickets, contact Beverly at email@example.com or visit the website.