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Stabroek News

The Dragon comes out of retirement
published: Thursday | February 28, 2008

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

Julianne Lee Samuels speaks during the launch of Jamaica Carnival while Maurice Bryan of Digicel (left), Byron Lee (centre) and Jerry D (background) look on. The launch was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Promising to be bigger and better than ever, The Gleaner-sponsored Jamaica Carnival returns in March with the 'Dragon' Byron Lee at the helm.

Lee officially launched the 'True Kolors' of Jamaica Carnival 2008 last Tuesday night at the Gardens of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

Well-wishers mingled on the lawn as soca music played in the background as Byron Lee met and greeted persons eager to see Jamaica Carnival back on its feet.

Standing at the podium, Lee thanked his many sponsors and talked of the pressure he received from friends to take the spectacle back on the road.

Road parade

During Lee's illness last year, there was a visible absence of the road parade for the first time in several years.

"The road means a lot to me. In 1990, I tried to bring it to Jamaica and received some trouble after seeing it in Trinidad and this year it's back."

Along with the road parade, there will be a series of shows every weekend throughout March across the island.

Julianne Lee Samuels, president of Jamaica Carnival, hailed this carnival's ability to be accessible to each and every person, making it truly a Jamaican experience.

The activities kick off this weekend with St Thomas Carnival, followed by the May Pen Carnival on March 8, the New Kingston Street Dance on March 9, Negril Carnival on March 14, MoBay Nite Mas and Fête on March 16, Calypso Gold on March 22 in Montego Bay, Easter Sunday on March 23 in St Ann, KFC Jouvert in New Kingston on March 29, Vintage vs Soca on March 29 and the Last Hurrah, the road march in the streets of Kingston on March 30.

On Easter Sunday, revellers can expect performances from Atlantik, Destra and Iwer George. Artistes Biggie Irie and Peter Ram will perform exclusively for Jamaica Carnival. To close the night was Ali McNab, special adviser to the Minister of Culture, cheerily thanked Byron Lee for coming out of retirement for Jamaica Carnival 2008.

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