PROJECT consultant for the Seville Emancipation jubilee Joan Seagears says the cultural event this year will be special and should not be missed.
The celebration, which takes place on the night of July 31 into the morning of August 1 at the Seville Heritage Park, in St Ann, is being staged under the theme: ‘United and Free…What a Jubilee’.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ in Montego Bay on Tuesday, Seagears said the event, which is being staged for the 19th consecutive year, comes as Jamaica celebrates the 178th anniversary of the granting of Emancipation.
She said the traditional displays will continue, but efforts have been made to ensure that the event is attractive to both locals and visitors.
“Each year we try to project different aspects of the African culture in language, music, dancing and food. When you come that night you will find that we are trying to get you immersed into the culture itself,” Seagears said.
For the first time in the history of the jubilee, a candle-lighting ceremony will be added in honour of the slaves.
“We are going to have people lighting candles (under) the theme ‘Remember Slavery’. We started out the show by focusing on the Africans who lived, worked and died on Seville Plantation, but we have expanded to include slaves or Africans who died in the diaspora, and Africans who died in the transatlantic slave trade,” Seagears said.
She pointed out that the venue will be decorated to depict the true feeling of the event, with the serving of traditional hot chocolate being a common theme throughout the night.
“The first section will be drumming around the great house property. After that you will have the onstage performance of the best that the JCDC has to offer. We have the University Singers, the Carifolk Singers, the Maroons, and we are going to have the (blowing of) the Abeng at midnight,” Seagears noted.
She added that despite the seriousness of the occasion, the performances will be done in order for patrons to be reflective on matters relating to slavery and emancipation while they enjoy them.
The traditional wreath-laying will also be a part of this year’s event.