Thursday 21 February, 2019

Black River Day 2018 set to explode

Residents of the bread basket parish of St Elizabeth are eagerly anticipating this year's Black River Day 2018 – “the Ultimate Street Festival” -- which will be held on Friday, July 27th in the town. 

Dancehall acts such as Vershon, Gage and Wayne Marshall as well as gospel acts George Nooks and Lt. Stitchie will be wowing the audiences with their talents during the main stage show. 

This will mark the sixth year of the street festival.

"We continue to support and encourage commercial activity, and any effort which will  lift the profile of the town. Black River  has so much history and promise,  and this street festival provides a big boost to the economy of our parish, because it attracts over 25,000 patrons each year," GT Taylor, assistant public relations officer of the organising committee of the Black River Day festival, said.

As a past president of the Chamber of Commerce - Black River chapter, GT Taylor understands the economic jolt that the street festival brings to the charming city of Black River. 

"It's a huge event which all the businesses look forward to because of the guaranteed sales from this captive audience of over 25,000. We haven't done an official audit, but I know that this festival adds several millions to the economy of the parish. Plus Black River Day continues to promote commercial activity within a framework of culture, culinary experiences, fun and entertainment," GT Taylor said. 

The festival is organised in tandem with the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation which deals with the security and logistical challenges of street closures. 

"The Municipal Corporation also uses the festival as an opportunity to educate the public about the functions of the corporation and how important it is to pay property taxes that allows the corporation to carry out its duties," GT Taylor said.

The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a float parade in the morning, led by a 40-foot trailer, marching bands, uniformed groups and community groups.  Food is available from breakfast till the wee hours of the morning on Saturday at the food court featuring a wide variety of Jamaican dishes. The entertainment options are equally diverse. 

There will be a mini stage set up on High Street where gospel acts will entertain in the afternoon. There will be a health fair, and a fire and rescue display by the Jamaica Fire Brigade of Black River. There will be a Kiddies Village set up on North Street with rides and snacks for the youngsters. The streets will be patrolled by stilt-walkers and the JAG Myers park will have a mento band to entertain the throng of patrons. 

Other musical treats will include Black River’s Pride of Exchange Band, the Genesis Steel band, the Ruff Cut Sound featuring selectors from St Elizabeth and at night, the main stage will come alive with reggae and dancehall artistes until the 2 a.m cut off time. 

"It's going to be a fantastic event," GT Taylor said. 

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