The Manchester Festival Prince & Festival Princess Grand Coronation is set for this Sunday, March 20, at the Manchester Parish Library Cultural Centre (The Cecil Charlton Hall), Hargreaves Avenue, Mandeville. An initiative of the Manchester Office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the show will commence at 6:00 p.m. and will see 14 boys and girls representing their schools and communities vie for the prestigious crowns.
The Manchester Festival Prince & Festival Princess Programme is open to both boys and girls, ages 9 to 12 years, and takes the form of Training and Development workshops and seminars, Courtesy Calls, and fun and educational outings.
This competition is the premier forum in Manchester for boys and girls to showcase their skills and talents and to secure their positions as Child Cultural Ambassadors for their parish and by extension, Jamaica. The competition encourages the development of Cultural Awareness, Research and Documentation Skills and Talent and Creativity in these children and is in keeping with the JCDC’s Mission to “Unearth, develop, promote and showcase the best of Jamaica’s culture.”
Prior to the Parish Coronation, contestants participate in an exciting training and development series, visit officials and participate in media interviews. Additionally, each participant is required to conduct research on an assigned Icon of Manchester and then produce a performing arts piece from the information gleaned, which is later used as the contestant’s talent piece at the coronation show.
According to Mrs. Vivien Morris-Brown, Parish Manager at the Manchester Parish Office: “The performances are always varied and highly entertaining, and many of the participants have established themselves on the national performers circuits. And through this competition sponsors have the opportunity to reach a wide cross-section of Jamaicans island-wide who are the usual patrons of this competition.”
“The Coronation is one of the highlights of the JCDC Entertainment Arts Programmes in the parish of Manchester.” Morris-Brown Added.
The JCDC established the Festival Prince & Princess Development Programme in Manchester in 2011, in an effort to give exposure to young cultural ambassadors locally and nationally. Since its inception this competition has produced many outstanding young Cultural ambassadors, who have gone on to make a positive impact in high schools and colleges across the island.
A survey of the children who have participated in this programme shows that they are among the most outstanding students entering high schools, and this standard is maintained by them throughout their high school career. The Festival Prince and Festival Princess Pageant attracts participants and by extension, supporters, from across the parish of Manchester.