High praise for MoBay Reggae Nights

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Happy that their inaugural staging of MoBay Reggae Nights has been hailed a success, organisers are now thinking of ways to make future shows even better.

“I can’t count on my hands the amount of times that persons came to me at the event and told me Montego Bay needs this thing,” event promoter Dwight ”Debo” Crawford told the Jamaica Observer.

He is also councillor for the Montego Bay West Division, elected on a Jamaica Labour Party ticket.

“One of our greatest attractions to Jamaica for most tourists, and even locals, is our people. Creating the environment to showcase that is very important and I believe that MoBay Reggae Nights is the place for it. We saw the kind of people that came out, decent people, hard-working people, law-abiding people, all having a good time,” Crawford remarked.

During the event, which kicked off at 4:00 pm last Sunday, patrons got a chance to experience Montego Bay through its food, art and entertainment. Some of St James’s best local talent had the crowd enthralled throughout their performances on stage.

Crawford estimates that more than 1,000 people — a mix of locals and visitors — attended.

Event co-organiser, Andre ”Peanut” Brown is already looking ahead to the next show.

“This is about building brand Montego Bay, promoting peace, love, unity, family and growth in the tourism sector and for those reasons it provides us with that inner motivation that we need to make sure that we make every staging bigger and better,” he said.

The tourism ministry’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) was the main sponsor for the event which is expected to help positively impact how visitors perceive Jamaica. It has already been given the nod of approval by newly elected president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Robin Russell.

“Love to see the Jamaican culture on show to everybody. It looks clean, persons are out there, it looks like a family event, lots of kids, so this is the image that we would want Jamaica to be putting forward, especially to the world,” he remarked.

Crawford believes the show will change the face of Montego Bay.

“We are civilised people, we are law abiding people, we are good people and the world needs to see that. MoBay Reggae Nights is the place to showcase the best of what we have here in Montego Bay, not only our food, our music, our creative arts but our people,” he continued.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce Oral Heaven was also full of praise for the event.

“Beautiful start; you see everybody here regardless of who you are, people are here enjoying the drums, enjoying the food, enjoying the music, our culture is here being displayed and I mean this is welcomed,” he told the Observer.

Heaven noted that the event will augment Operation Restore Paradise, an effort to restore order in the city and make it more attractive as a place to live and visit.

“We have to work together: the municipal corporation, the business community, the police, everybody and this is something we are adding to the whole public order reset,” he explained.

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