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I Love Jamaica Day kicked-off UK JA55 celebrations

HANDS-UP IF YOU LOVE JAMAICA: From left - Dr. Lola Ramocan and husband, His Excellency Seth Ramocan, Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK with 'The Voice's' Rodney Hinds (background)

IN THE run-up to Jamaica's 55th year of independence from British colonial rule, 'The Voice' and JN Bank hosted the third I Love Jamaica Day yesterday from 12 noon-6pm at Capital City Academy in north west London.

Grammy-nominated roots reggae singer Luciano, who jumped off the I Love Jamaica Day stage into an adoring crowd, flew to London to perform to his UK fans. He told The Voice's Entertainment Editor Joel Campbell:

PRIDE: Families turning-up to enjoy the day ahead

“I got my first recognition in the UK. My first number one song was really in the UK, Shake It Up Tonight, so that’s the kind of connection I have with the UK. It’s a nice fan base and over the years they have always been true to me and I have always been true to them.

Revellers on the day were treated to live entertainment, a chance to sample a range of Caribbean food vendor's tasty wares, the opportunity to collect expert information on the Jamaican property market and how to invest in it, valuable health tips, a good old fashioned domino tournament and a marketplace which offered handmade carnival clothing, African-inspired jewellery and black-authored book.

ZUREE HITS THE TOWN: Zuree-branded toys (from left) Monique, Toya the Jamaican patois-talking doll and Johnny

Highlights on the day included appearances from popular homegrown artists such as Christopher Ellis, Queen of Lovers Rock Paulette Tajah, gospel hip-hop outfit Sonz of Thunder, versatile vocalist Adelaide Mackenzie, DJ Hawkeye and fellow selectors including Cappucino from the Candy Mas stable, a local steel pan band comprised of children and teens; that set the stage for Luciano's half-hour concert.

CARNIVAL-READY: Designers displayed their best

Errol McKellar, Prostate Cancer UK ambassador gave a moving account of his wife Sharon's support as he found out by surprise that he had the disease and what he did to beat it and spread the word to other men, saving lives in the process.

RUNNING FREE: An impromptu football game takes place

Local MP for Brent Dawn Butler, who was seen enjoying the day and perusing the marketplace, was joined by borough councillors, the Mayor Kana Naheerathan, Levi Roots and His Excellency Seth Ramocan, Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK; who came to speak with attendees and enjoy a Jamaican Sunday dinner.

TASTY TREATS: The Angela Rose Cakes team bought rum, banana and red velvet flavoured goodies for all to try

Donna-Marie from Peckham, south London travelled across the river to enjoy the Willesden festival and reflected on the memories of Jamaica that the day had invoked for her:

MEMORIES: Donna-Marie from Peckham who shared her thoughts of Jamaica on the day

"There are so many beautiful places in Jamaica. When I was a little girl I always wanted to go Lovers' Leap - it was so peaceful. I just stood at the top and looked over and enjoyed the peace."

Look out for our I Love Jamaica Day photo gallery, video footage and exclusive moments with Luciano, Levi Roots and more, later this week.

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