HUNDREDS of people in Huddersfield are planning to make 2012 a special year.
Members of the Jamaican community have double reasons to celebrate.
The former British colony in the Caribbean received independence from Britain in 1962 and 2012 marks 50 years of that independence.
Jamaicans also hope that on August 5, their sporting hero Usain Bolt will romp to victory in the 100m final at the London Olympics.
The community is about to launch a series of celebrations to mark Jamaica’s independence, culminating in a huge event in Huddersfield on Sunday, on August 5.
Alda Flowers, one of those behind the plans, said: “This is not something just for the Jamaican people or Huddersfield’s black community.
“We hope it will be something for the whole town, to come and celebrate with us.
“We have a number of events in the pipeline but we hope the big event on August 5, either in Greenhead Park or St George’s Square, will appeal to everybody.
“And how great it will be to see Usain Bolt winning the gold medal on a giant screen.”
The launch of the planned celebration is on Saturday, January 28, at the Hudawi Centre.
The centre will host a rum punch reception and dinner to kick off the celebrations.
Mrs Flowers said: “Jamaica National Huddersfield is one of the pioneers in creating partnerships between the local community and businesses in Huddersfield. It was founded in 1978 and is a social enterprise whose profits are invested back into the community.
“We want to use Jamaica’s 50th independence celebrations as a major opportunity to stage a flagship event that promotes not only Huddersfield’s Caribbean communities but brings the whole town together in a multi-cultural event.”
The Jamaican community represents about one third of the black community in Huddersfield and they are now discussing plans for events for everyone.
They include a Carnival-style parade, local and international music artists, children’s events, Caribbean food and a performance of the musical play The Harder They Come by former Huddersfield music legend Geraldine O’Connor.
Mrs Flowers said: “We want businesses and community groups to join us in planning for this year of celebration.”
For details of the January 28 event contact Johnny Flowers on 01484 427211 or 07802 902177 or email Joan Flowers on Joan_flowers1@hotmail.com