There was quite a bit of preparation for this so I thought I’d attempt a diary format to recall the series of events culminating in grand gala 2012:
July 27, 2012
After work found some of my co-workers and I piled up in a car headed to Ocho Rios with the intention of purchasing Jamaica 50 shirts and anything else that caught out interest. Though I was slightly disappointed at the slim pick of options, I was quite happy with my buys only to be disgruntled later by the realization that I could have gotten the same shirt for $600 else where – was more of the deceit on the sale lady’s part that grieved me. Still no ‘golden’ ticket in sight but I wasn’t fazed …. still had high hopes of getting lucky eventually..
July 30, 2012
This week started off with a bang and well …. ended just the same with the momentum being kept right throughout. My last day of work proved to be quite eventful and as lunch approached, once again I went into ‘Grand Gala ticket quest’ mode. I’d actually been trying to get from earlier in the previous week despite the daunting news reports and video captures of people flocking ALLEGED ticked outlets and becoming disgruntled upon hearing that there were NO tickets; even though they arrived earlier than the time slated for them to be distributed. I guess it was no surprise seeing that this was one of the most anticipated and talked about events in celebration of Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.
A phone call confirmed that YES there were tickets at the JCDC office so you know who blazed up there faster than Speedy Gonzalez in the blistering sun so that I could be rewarded with these ‘GOLDEN TICKETS’ – sure as hell had a ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ moment. The lady at the front desk exclaimed ‘you look like you were running from far’ and no doubt I was a hot mess. If only she knew! I saw fireworks go off and music play as I held those precious tickets and went on my way, sweaty as ever in my satin (how smart of me) blouse but pleased none the less. Special thanks too goes to Davion for helping me get the other tickets! 😀 My excitement was matched by KeV who was also on the hunt and we were glad to know that we both were rewarded. He actually left his lunch to get them! *Happy dance* not only would I be going to the National Stadium for the first time but I would also get to experience a once in a lifetime event. *Happiness tun up!*
There was a brief moment of panic when I realized that my ticket read Tuesday, August 6, 2012 and I wondered if I’d been had! (Still can’t understand how it went unnoticed noticed that before they printed all those thousands of tickets …. hmmnn)
With constant excited texts between KeV and I, it finally It came to that grand moment…storm or none we would be seated at the National Stadium.
August 6, 2012
Our morning escapade ended later than expected and resulted in us getting to the stadium after our planned time. The overcast sky and predictions of rain did not worry me; I was too busy speaking good weather into being. Not even the shower of rain that descended on the way from Port Royal (story to follow) or the slow trickle which began before we walked in to join the line could dishearten me.
Not surprisingly, the crowd was massive but we were far to excited to start worrying about how we’d get in …. a seemingly never-ending line ended to find us scrambling to join yet another line. I could not have been happier when I finally walked through the last entrance which gave me my first full view of the stadium. That aside, the task was on to find enough seats for our party of 6.
First to make an entrance was the military band:
An extended period of sitting anxiously followed as we awaited the drive through procession of dignitaries; some of whom had the crowd wildly screaming and blowing their vuvzelas (despite much pleading from the MC’s to refrain). We were treated to a salute from the JDF in the form of their planes flying over the arena. It happened so quickly that i was quite surprised I caught it at all!
Screams of delight shook the stadium at the sight of the mini firework displays in between the series of performances which attempted to showcase the various cultures that make us ‘out of many one people’.
Alex and I being silly while trying to get a photo taken. love how our paths constantly seem to cross 🙂
Watching about the third or fourth round of the ‘wave’ around the stadium that started during a tribute to Miss Lou.
Showing off my sisters nails (she did em herself) and the text Mommy sent us during the Gala.
Yah … gearing up to the grand finale the thousands of performers gather on the mid field to form the number 50 and the Jamaican flag.
SPECTACULAR! The grand finale and explosive set of fireworks that had me ‘ooing’ and ‘aahing’ all through.
Overall I thought the show was great. I really enjoyed the live performances, especially the duet by Romain Virgo and Tessanne. Yes, there were quite a few ‘hiccups’ and a few instances of obvious confusion but based on the controversy surrounding the event, I think they managed to pull it off! I don’t know what will become of me in the next fifty years but I do hope that by then Jamaica would have reached its full potential as a nation and that we all will continue to be proud citizens striving for excellence!
Also, here is the Gleaner Photo album with on the ground shots that I couldn’t catch! (Bit sorry I didn’t get to collect my press pass but still glad I was able to experience the magic of Grand Gala 2012)