Dave Rodney, Contributor
The craving by Jamaicans for a feel of home at Christmas has prompted a Jamaican music and theatre exponent in New York City, United States, Andrew Clarke, to create a holiday daytime event. It is planned for tomorrow in Queens and will revive and celebrate some of the activities from 'home'.
It is called Ole Time Grand Market and will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Centre, at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue. It promises to be a continuous slate of activities designed to attract both adults and children.
A chorale presentation of popular Christmas songs by the New York-based folk group Braata Singers will be a big attraction. Additionally, the venue will feature Jonkanoo parades, cultural exhibits, films, storytelling, ludo and domino games, and bun-eating and sorrel-drinking contests. An array of art and craft vendors will have gift items for sale.
A colourful kiddies' corner with Santa Claus doing giveaways should be a magnet for the children and the section will also feature face-painting, as well as other thrills for the young ones.
"Those of us who cannot go home to Jamaica for the holidays often get nostalgic, and the Ole Time Grand Market will rekindle those wonderful Christmas memories that take us back across the 14 parishes to our childhood", Clarke said.
Among the talent booked to appear are impersonator and folklorist Mattie Lou, violinist Nadje, comedienne Susan Kennedy, Caribbean folk group Quake USA, and reggae singer Nadiva. Former Jamaican radio personality Totlyn Oliver Banks will visit from the Carolinas, where she now resides, to read from her recently released book Jamaica 101.