In the capital city of Kingston and in major towns all across Jamaica, Christmas Eve is celebrated by the closing of the main streets and filling them with vendors selling everything for Christmas gift giving. It is a tradition that families from all economic strata converge and do Christmas shopping. But especially delighted are the children who often get to select a toy of their choice.
The Jamaican Women of Florida Inc. (JWOF) brings a slice of Jamaican lifestyle to Hollywood, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 23, with the first staging of “Ole Tyme Jamaican Gran’ Market” at Negril on the Green, at 312 S. 62 Ave., Hollywood, from noon to 5 p.m.
As an off-spring of the traditional “Gran’ Market,” the Christmas shopping season in Jamaica is now marked by arts and crafts fairs that provide shoppers with unique items for home and personal use as well as perfect items for gift giving.
The group is tapping into the nostalgia of “Gran’ Market” and the fairs by bringing the concept to the Diaspora to coincide with the traditional kick-off of the Christmas shopping season in the United States.
“While we know we cannot compete with Black Friday and the frenzy around that date, we are getting a head start the Saturday before Thanksgiving to begin the shopping season,” said JWOF President Dahlia Walker-Huntington.
The event has already attracted vendors from Jamaica who will come to Florida to share their unique creations as they bring a true Jamaican flavor to the event. Jamaican artist and ceramicist Peter Peart – known for his colorful light switch plates and depictive artwork – will be in attendance along with Paula Hurlock of Indigo Soul Jamaican Kaftans and Dorrette Ubanks of Sandalz N Tings in Kingston. Joining them will be local Jamaican vendors, NAHTE Gems; Samadhi Spa; Inochi Yoga & Pilates; Jamaica Art; Go Addy
Promotions; Sanguninetti Handmade Leather Bags; and much more. As is tradition, entertainment for children and adults will be provided.
Part of the proceeds of the event will benefit three families in the neighborhood who will each receive $100 Publix gift certificates. Admission is free and food and drinks will be on sale courtesy of Negril on the Green. The event is sponsored by Negril on the Green, Hi-Class Promotions; The Golding Law Group, LLC; Laparkan Shipping, Reading Pays More; and Maars Automotive.
The Jamaican Women of Florida is an organization designed to provide an outlet for Jamaican women in Florida to empower themselves through networking, mentoring and personal development. The goal of JWOF is to engage Jamaican women in Florida and also to give back to the next generation of young women in Jamaica by assisting in the development of leadership and personal skills to operate in a global environment.
Picture above: PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMAICAN WOMEN OF FLORIDA
VARIETY: From paintings to shoes, a diverse selection of vendors make up the market.