Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Portlanders enjoy Christmas in the Park

Published:Thursday | January 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis
Children posing for photos with Santa Claus at the inaugural ‘Christmas in the Park’ event.


Christopher Crooks has made a bold move in staging family-oriented events, with the latest being the inaugural 'Christmas in the Park', held recently at the Neville Antonio Park in Port Antonio.

Crooks, who is the chief executive officer of Sunlife Events Corporation, has been toying with the idea of providing families in Port Antonio with a special treat and quality entertainment. On Christmas Day, Crooks' dream of hosting a family-oriented event became a reality.

"As a Portlander, I always wondered what happened to Christmas in Portland. Realising that the children had nowhere to go to enjoy themselves on Christmas Day, I decided to create a special kind of entertainment just for the kids," related Crooks.

"I was supported by other persons from the parish who also wanted to create that special kind of atmosphere. And as such, we formed Sunlife Events Corporation and began executing those ideas," he added.

According to Crooks, their first real event was in the summer of 2017, which was very successful. Shortly after, he recounted, they decided to make plans to host a Christmas Day event at the Neville Antonio Park, in the heart of Port Antonio.

On the day of the event, the venue, which was designed for persons to enjoy its picturesque beauty, was magically transformed into an amusement park, with various rides and games for children. There was a massive turnout of children, who were accompanied by their parents and guardians.

Crooks related: "We had rides just for the kids, including a bounce-about, train rides, a mechanical bull, water slide, Ferris wheel, and donkey ride. There was also jerk chicken, fried chicken and chips, and coconut water on sale. A special treat for the children was the grand appearance of Santa Claus, who took photos with them and mingled all day."

Several prominent business persons in Port Antonio - including Patrick lee of Lees Maxi Mart, Garfield Sinclair of Kamal's Supermarket, and Peter Hall of Cristal Night Club - have welcomed the staging of the Christmas Day event, noting that such events are needed, especially during holiday periods, so that the children can enjoy themselves.

Crooks also took time out to thank several persons for their financial support of the event, including Andrew, Brian, and Jason Roberts. Approximately sixty persons were employed directly and indirectly at the event.