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JCDC LAUNCHES JONKUNNU FESTIVAL

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) launched its inaugural Jonkunnu Mento Festival on Monday, November 19, 2001. The launch featured an official Jonkunnu demonstration group showing off the various costumes, and dance moves of the folk form. This was in an effort to inform Jamaicans about the festival, which will take place at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex on Sunday December 16, 2001, starting at 11:00 a.m. The audience was initially introduced to the lively Pitchy Patchy, which according to tradition is the most popular Jonkunnu character. Then came performances from Cowhead, Wild Indian, Actor Boy, The Devil, Policeman, Belly Woman, Sailor, the Set Girls and Jack in The Green. Executive Director of the JCDC, Marcia Hextall told the audience that “ the Jonkunnu Mento Festival is being staged in an effort to re-energize critical elements of Jamaican folk culture that in the past brought delight to so many people”. On the other hand, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC, Marjorie Leyden- Vernon outlined the various aspects of the Festival, and promotional campaign for the event. http://jcdc.org.jm/images/release/jonkunnu2.jpgAccording to Mrs. Leyden –Vernon, Jamaicans can expect to see images of the Jonkunnu on local television stations and in the newspapers. She also promised that radio listeners will get their taste of Jonkunnu. This publicity programme will be carried out in an attempt to teach Jamaicans, particularly the young about the history of Jonkunnu prior to the event. Indeed the youth will have a special part to play in the Jonkunnu Mento Festival. There will be a Children’s’ Jonkunnu Costume Competition in which the youngsters will compete individually, and in groups for prizes such as Best Jonkunnu Character. The annual Adult Mento Band Competition in which the islands top Mento Bands will compete for supremacy will also take place on that day. http://jcdc.org.jm/images/release/jonkunnu1.jpgAnother highlight of the Festival will be the Traditional Brunch, which will feature old favorites such as Escoveitched Fish, Honey Glazed Ham, and Dip and Fall Back. Tickets for the meal will cost patrons $500.00. The JCDC promises that the event will be exciting and looks forward to seeing hundreds Sponsors for the event include Swizzle of Facey Commodity, Western Union and Digicel, Pings Fabric, Sinclair Bargain Centre, CVM TV, POWER 106, HOT 102, KLAS FM 89, IRIE FM and Reggae Jamaica.com