A family fun day entitled, ‘Christmas Breeze’, will be held on Sunday, December 17 at Holywell, the main recreation area in the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and World Heritage Site.
The event, which begins at 10:00 a.m., is being staged by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), the organisation that manages the Park on behalf of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA).
This is one of the many activities being staged by the JCDT to observe the 25th anniversary of the National Park, to be celebrated on February 25, 2018. The Park was established in 1993 through the Natural Resources Conservation Order and comprises a group of forest reserves gazetted under the old Forest Act of 1937.
Executive Director of the JCDT, Dr. Susan Otuokon, told JIS News that a decision was taken to begin the activities in December this year. She said it will be a “fun, cool entertaining day for the whole family” and persons will be able “to experience the real Christmas breeze up in the mountains”.
“We will have face painting, guided trail tours, a guided tour of the visitors’ centre featuring craft making of Christmas tree decorations using recycled materials as well as natural found materials such as twigs and leaves,” she said.
The JCDT will host ‘The Peak Challenge’ on January 27, 2018. Dr. Otuokon said the JCDT will be challenging Jamaicans to hike to the Blue Mountain peak, the highest point in the island.
“We can make the arrangements. A lot of people do not realise that the Blue Mountain trail is within the National Park and, in fact, quite a lot is in the world heritage site and so it is really a very special trail,” she said, adding that peak hikers are required to pay $200, a legislative fee under the National Parks Regulations.
To celebrate the anniversary on February 25, Dr. Otuokon said there will be a musical event titled, ‘Symphony in the Mountains’, scheduled to take place on that date at Holywell. She said the event will feature The Abeng Tour and screening of the ‘Nanny, Queen of the Maroons’ documentary.
The event will also include the Immaculate Conception High School Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston College Chapel Choir, master drummers from the Charles Town Maroons and the premiere of the Fourth Movement of the Maroon Symphony – ‘Onslaught’.
“This movement tells the story of the Great Maroon War from 1728-1739, which ended with the signing of a peace treaty as the British knew they were defeated. It includes drumming and just about every single orchestral instrument that you can imagine,” Dr. Otuokon said.