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Independence celebrations headed for Birmingham

ALL SMILES: The Hatman founder Dennis Hamilton with his daughter Keshia Hamilton

INDEPENDENT TRADERS in Birmingham are going for gold as they mark 50 years of Jamaican independence with a free city centre celebration.

The Square shopping centre in Priory Square will host an eight-hour Jamaican-style celebration between 11am and 7pm on Saturday July 14.

There will be Jamaican food and craft stalls, live acts including local Reggae heroes Friendly Fire and the Bob Marley tribute band Legend, along with craft stalls, poetry sessions, prizes and a licensed bar.

Organised by Dennis Hamilton, one of The Square’s longest-serving independent traders who runs The Hatman, said: “We know our customers are excited at our planned celebrations since we have our forthcoming Jamaican independence anniversary and our Jamaican Olympic heroes in the headlines.

“Our event in The Square will be unique because it’s being supported by local traders – many of them independents and small businesses. Everyone will be welcome all day and it’s a great opportunity for communities to come together. It’s going to be fun all day and my advice is – come dressed to party!”

It is hoped the party will help to regenerate The Square - one of Birmingham’s key commercial districts which has been out of the public eye since the opening of The Bullring nearby.

A respected independent trader, Dennis has been making hats in Birmingham for 25 years, starting the business in the back room of his house.

With the support of his family, he now runs two Hatman stores in Corporation Street and Stephenson Street, and sells headwear, fashion accessories and urban wear around the world.


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