Kingston Craft Market to host ‘Augus Mawnin’ cultural event
Vendors who do business at the Kingston Craft Market, one of the largest facilities of its kinds in the island, say there is a high level of anticipation for Friday, August 3.
The vendors said this is the day when Kingston Craft Market, in collaboration with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), will host the annual ‘Augus Mawnin’ event on the grounds of the craft market at 1 Pechon Street in downtown Kingston.
Karol Stubbs-Jamieson, President of the Kingston Craft Market Association, told Loop News that the function will be one where some of the country’s finest cultural items will be on display.
Visitors will also get the chance to sample tasty dishes, such as ackee and salt fish with roast breadfruit and rundown, while enjoying fashion displays where a number of persons will be showcasing cultural clothing.
“For this highly anticipated event we are inviting persons from all across the island to come and see some of the items that will be on display,” said the president about the event.
A number of local entertainers are expected to perform at the event.
The president said in addition to ‘Augus Mawnin’, the association will be moving to roll out a number of other activities to attract more people to the craft market
Earlier in the year, vendors there said they were planning to roll out a series of activities to attract more tourists and local customers, including children, to the facility.
Former president of the Craft Market Association, Audrey Hinds, had said the vendors were planning to reach out to the education ministry and various stakeholders in the tourism industry to look seriously at promoting the venue.
The current president said those plans are still in the pipeline, as she was very much interested in doing all that she could to spread the word about the craft market.
Hinds had said that part of the aim was to also reach out to educational institutions across the Corporate Area in a bid to form partnerships with schools.
"We want to see teachers bringing more of their students to the location to learn more about craft," Hinds told Loop News.
Concerned that not many youth were gravitating towards craft and culture, the vendors felt the move, while it is also aimed at boosting the presence of the facility, would also help to preserve the culture to pass it on to the youth who will be the adults of tomorrow.
“It is part of our culture and too often when we have events such as Jamaica Day and Independence Day, we see teachers and parents going to various places to purchase cultural items, many of which are of inferior quality,” Hinds said.
“We believe a partnership should be formed with schools to have teachers and educators from other facilities make the craft market the place of choice to purchase these items,” she added.
“Not only is it safer to shop (here), but the experience of purchasing from the craft market is two-fold,” the vendor explained.
She said the items produced by craft vendors are of the best quality locally, and another benefit is that having teachers take students to the facility “will be a learning experience for the students”.
Vendor at the facility said they felt it could give them (the students) an opportunity to learn more about their culture while purchasing items of their choice.
Amid the drive for development, the craft market has also suffered misfortune. Last year April, fire of unknown origin destroyed a total of 18 shops there, which were rebuilt as part of a major general renovation of the facility.