The Social Development Commission (SDC) will be hosting its inaugural Downtown Home and Furnishing Fair on September 30, to showcase furniture makers and artisans from the downtown Kingston area. Attendees will be able to see more than 30 furniture, home décor and accessory makers displaying their creative pieces. In addition to this venture, the SDC has also been able to assist producers in acquiring training in customer service and entrepreneurship.
(Text by magicseaweed). Being the third largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica stands out on the map, but it is relatively obscure in terms of Caribbean surf destinations. Despite its size, only the eastern tip receives a decent amount of windswell worth exploring, with options for both north and south coasts. See the photos below and check the links for the latest surf reports from Bull Bay, Boston Bay and Rozelle Beach.
On January 9th 2008 the Government of Jamaica announced that the month of February was to be officially declared as Reggae Month. This was done to highlight and celebrate the impact of the musical genre on the country’s social, cultural and economic development. Additionally, the birthdays of two of Jamaica’s and Reggae Music’s late icons are commemorated during the month of February: The late Dennis Brown also known as the ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’, is celebrated on February 1, while the late Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley, the renowned ‘King of Reggae’ is celebrated on February 6.
Coordinated by JaRIA (Jamaica Reggae Industry Association), check the JaRIA Facebook page for the latest updates about this year's activities. See last year's calendar below...
As Jamaica’s capital city from 1534 to 1872, Spanish Town was the focal point of the island’s social, economic and political life. During this time, the town witnessed the evolution of modern Jamaica. It welcomed the Spanish when they fled Sevilla La Nueva and observed as they developed its land. It watched the English invasion and subsequent occupation of the island, and later, listened while the governor read the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves, in its “Plaza Mayora.”
To ensure you don’t miss any of these important sights, it’s best to have a local guide help you find your way through the town’s maze of streets and lanes.
Start: Spanish Town Methodist Church, White Church Street
Finish: Emancipation Square, at Rodney’s Memorial
Distance: Approximately 0.75km (0.5 miles)
In its prime, Spanish Town was a magnificent and impressive metropolis with stately red brick homes and grand monuments. Today, it is Jamaica’s third largest urban center with a population of approximately 87,000 people and, sadly, much of its grandeur has been lost to the ravages of time. Some shining examples of Georgian architecture still exist, however, as reminders of the town’s golden era.
1. THE METHODIST CHURCH
Opened in 1953, this small but beautiful chapel serves as the head of the Spanish Town Methodist Circuit, which was created in 1816 and consists of five churches.
Directions: Immediately facing the Methodist church, you’ll notice the massive western wall of the St Catherine District Prison.
(London, England) Dub Vendor is a long-standing, and pioneering, London vendor of Ska and Reggae music. In 2006, Time Out magazine termed it "the best source of Jamaican music in Europe". The growth of the online business meant that in 2011 the decision was made to close the store at Clapham Junction and concentrate solely online.
Following requests from patrons, and to mark its 40th anniversary, Dub Vendor will be staging a fund raising reunion dance. Hosted by Daddy Ernie and featuring Tippa Irie as well as other fabulous artists, this event will be in support of Alpha Institute. Please see the flyer below for complete charity details. Tickets are £15.00 plus £1.50 booking fee. £5 from every ticket sold will go to Alpha Institute. Purchase your tickets now on the Dub Vendor website.
The Reggae Sumfest road trip from Kingston to Montego Bay is one of the best of the summer. This year there is a whole week of Sumfest dance sessions and activities July 16-22. Click here to buy tickets on the Sumfest site! To get to Montego Bay from Kingston its a quick drive north through the mountains to Ocho Rios, take a left and one and a half hours of seaside towns and long stretches of beach later you've arrived at your destination--the 25th staging of the legendary Reggae Sumfest. The new toll road from Kingston to Ochi is always there for those in a rush. But if you have the time, the old road through Moneague and Fern Gully is the thing to do!
What's the best route from Kingston to Port Antonio? The scenic ‘Junction Road’ of course! Constant Spring Road takes you out of town and across the border into the parish of St Mary and over to the lush landscape of Port Antonio in under 2 hours. To leave town, Constant Spring Road becomes Stony Hill Road and then the A3 Junction Road, a winding, riverside route that is the main route between Kingston and Annotto Bay on the North Coast. To the left of Junction Road is the river, and to the right is the Blue Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring 1000s of acres of biodiversity.
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the north east of Kingston, Gordon Town offers a small town vibe 20 minutes outside the city. Perhaps best known in recent times as home to Miss Lou, the teacher, folklorist, activist, artist and actor. The Honourable Louise Bennett-Coverley O.M passed away in 2006 and is still remembered as one of Jamaica's "greatest treasures", according to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. Gordon Town has another attraction. This one brings people of all ages up from Kingston or down the hill from Irish Town to bath in the Gordon Town Falls.
The first signs of Carnival in Jamaica began in the 1940’s with the opening of the University of the West Indies. This happened when the students from the Eastern Caribbean, especially those of Trinidad and Tobago, recreated the festival on campus of the elaborate Carnivals they enjoyed from back home. A tradition that continues on the campus to this day. However, Carnival at the time was still viewed as a foreign concept for the rest of the Jamaican public.
In 1989, the late Jamaican music pioneer, Byron Lee, along with a small band of believers, conceptualized a plan to bring the music, energy and vibe of Trinidad & Tobago’s annual Carnival event to Jamaica.
The city if Kingston actually includes 200 acres that make up the Royal Botanical Gardens, but locals call it Hope Gardens. The gardens were established in 1873 on a section of land from the estate of Major Richard Hope, one of the original English colonisers. Today the gardens are home to Jamaica's most popular collection of endemic and exotic botanical collections including the national tree, Blue Mahoe. The cassia tree grove by the main entrance was planted in 1907. Most of the plants and trees, particularly the mango and various spice species found here, originally came from a captured French ship on its way from Mauritius to Hispaniola in 1782. Find out what they look like today at the Hope Gardens in Kingston. Read more about Hope Gardens on Trip Advisor here.