Masquerade ball brings in the stars
Last year, Jamaica was listed as one of the top five trending destinations to travel to in January 2019 by international travel website Kayak. The site showed a 30 per cent increase in year-over-year searches for the New Year period by travellers seeking to visit.
Among those flying into the island was a slew of celebrities for the first staging of the Alacran Group's Under the Mask New Year's Eve masquerade ball at the Trident Castle in Portland.
Fire-eaters and trapeze artists heightened the festive mood - which was catapulted by a breath-taking firework display at the stroke of midnight. More than a spectacle of fireworks and acrobatics, patrons enjoyed the company of international stars, such as actor Taye Diggs, American prima-ballerina Misty Copeland, and popular singers Alice Smith and Citizen Cope.
Celebrating the Alacran Foundation, whose goal is to provide learning via the arts, music and sports for future generations, Under the Mask brought out entertainers Ky-Mani Marley, Tesanne Chin, Romain Virgo and Richie Stephens, who showcased their talents for a very appreciative audience.
Dwight Powell, general manager at the Trident Hotel, said they were more than happy to partner with the Alacran Group to stage a ball at the Castle - not only for the benefit of the large hotel - but also for the bed and breakfasts along the Portland coast.
The Alacran Group, based in Miami and London, has over 25 years of international experience in entertainment, with a focus on music, publishing, film, live touring, shows and special events. Its history in the entertainment industry includes work with groundbreaking creatives and some of the world's most successful artistes and brands.
Alessandra Lo Savio, head of the Alacran Group, said, "Portland is almost like Jamaica's best-kept secret. I am of Italian and Moroccan decent, but I have fallen in love with this beautiful island, and I really believe in its potential, as well as its people. I see this event as a way to showcase Jamaica on an international level while invigorating local businesses in the parish."
Lo Savio, who has plans to invest in the rehabilitation of Winnifred Beach, a popular recreation spot for locals and tourists, believes that private-sector ventures are critical to the economy of any country. "Governments cannot do it alone. As business leaders, we must play an active role in improving the lives of others and use our expertise to encourage economic viability and creativity among people."