Oshawa celebrates Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence

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Story and photos by Stephanie Foden

Hundreds of local residents gather to watch a gospel choir preform at the festival.

Memorial Park was a sea of vibrant gold, green and black on Aug. 12, as Oshawa celebrated at the Jamaica 50th Anniversary Festival.

Many attendees carried Jamaican flags at Memorial Park on Aug. 12.

The festival, put on by the Canadian Jamaica Club of Oshawa celebrated Jamaica’s 50th year of independence from Britain.
A woman serves food at the Jamaican 50th Anniversary Festival in downtown Oshawa.

The busy festival highlighted some of Jamaica’s culture with several musical performance and authentic Jamaican food such as jerk chicken, plantain chips and sugar cane.
A group of women dance at the Jamaican 50th Anniversary Festival on Aug. 12.

“We are Jamaican. We are proud. We want to highlight what Jamaica stands for,” said Vinetta Anderson, Secretary of the Canadian Jamaica Club. “We are diverse. We have white-Jamaicans, Jewish-Jamaicans, Chinese-Jamaicans, Portuguese-Jamaicans.”
A girls paints a Jamaican flag on a woman’s cheek at Memorial Park.

Oshawa now has the third largest Jamaican population in Canada with approximately 7,000 residents identifying as Jamaican-Canadians.
Drummers perform at the Memorial Park Bandshell on Aug. 12.

“The function has been well received by the community,” said Sylvia Weathers, 1st Vice President of the Canadian Jamaican Club.
Attendees enjoy Memorial Park between sets at the Jamaican 50th Anniversary Festival.