Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Gala will be grand ... 35,000 Jamaica to attend event

Published:Friday | August 4, 2017 | 8:00 AM

Although party weekends have become a staple of Jamaica's entertainment offering, well-known event promoter Kamal Bankay opines that the annual Grand Gala remains the biggest national holiday event.

"It's the biggest event in Jamaica. I don't think there's anything bigger than that," Bankay told The Gleaner.

Some 35,000 Jamaicans are expected to pack into the National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday for the Grand Gala, which is part of Jamaica 55 celebrations.

"These is an amazing fireworks that has been donated by the People's Republic of China," Stephen Davidson, head of communication at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, told The Gleaner.

He said the first half of the fireworks display will take place at the National Stadium, while the second half, which will be "an even bigger one", will be at the waterfront on Monday.

Meanwhile, Bankay, who is known for his involvement in the development of the Dream Weekend franchise, said Jamaica should seek to leverage the opportunity that holidays present.

"We have huge activities throughout the whole summer. Basically, every weekend is a major festival. Things are happening all over the country so what we need to do is leverage other weekends near the summer; put on a big event every weekend, and truly maximise the summer period," Bankay said.

Gyete Ghartey, promoter of the long-running throwback party series, Yesterdays, said that planning events during holiday seasons is logical. He said, however, that local promoters do not give enough attention to nationalism.

"What happen is that even around different holidays, that is when persons prefer to party," Ghartey told The Gleaner, confessing he prefers to work with the trend.

"You don't have to worry about going back to work. You have time to recover, but I fault myself, too. We could make it be a lot more about the culture. That would be ideal. People come out in them green, black and gold. We've tried it in the past, but it don't really catch," he said.