Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's 50th was fittingly celebrated downtown on the waterfront.
A dazzling display of fireworks originated from a barge strategically placed on the Kingston Harbour and from the vocals of some of Jamaica's finest artistes.
The vocal fireworks began, approximately two hours before the midnight magic, and after a tepid performance from a list of performers described as "up-and-coming".
One Drop Roots Band was the first act. They lit the cinders with I'll Be Good To Me and more. After a band change, Cameal Davis took the stage and the fireworks really began.
The 2008 Digicel Rising Star reinforced why she was chosen number one.
I Want to Know What Love Is was her opening song. Obviously, love was on her mind as her fiery performance also included Oh Me, Oh My, among others.
Digicel was one of the major sponsors and its presence was reinforced by performances from Romain Virgo, Jody Ann Pantry and Lenya Wilks.
Fifteen minutes before ringing in 2013, Virgo turned up the fire with This Is Life. Finally on stage, he turned to popular songs like Serious Times and The Rain is Falling.
Seven seconds before the midnight blitz, Miss Kitty and Virgo joined forces with the audience in the countdown, "7, 6, etc." and on "one", the skies above opened with a dazzling display of fireworks.
Onstage, the vocal fireworks continued. Virgo ended his sterling performance with Don't You Remember, an Adele cover and a single from his latest album.
Busy Signal and Pam Hall followed. Hall was at her best. With a stroll down memory lane, she sang I Was Born a Woman before ending her fine performance with a ska medley.
It is no doubt that Busy Signal is a well-loved entertainer. He, like Virgo, had a dramatic entrance. When he blazed on to the stage with Mi Nah Guh A Jail Again, Busy made an instant connection with his audience. He wanted a better connection, so off the stage he jumped, and in the process had the security scurrying as he sang Jamaica Love.
The Busy one also explained to all that he was not around for the "50th celebration" and was grateful to get a piece of the end. He returned for an encore and only then did the stubborn crowd of all ages disperse, no doubt taking a spark from the fireworks with them.