Changes in store for 36th annual Jamaica


A weekend full of entertainment and fun is planned in downtown Lockhart this weekend, as St. Mary’s Catholic Church prepares to launch their key annual fundraiser.

Jamaica, the church’s two-day celebration of music, fun and games, opens on Friday afternoon at 6 p.m., when food and game booths open on the Jamaica Grounds at the northeast corner of Church and Walnut Street


Throughout the evening, visitors are encouraged to stroll the Jamaica Grounds shopping, snacking and enjoying games – including the constant and always-popular Jamaica Bingo.

At 8:30 p.m., a concert and dance featuring Grammy nominee David Marez.

A native of Mathis, Texas, Marez has been a fixture in the music business – particularly in Tejano music, since the 1970s. His expansive career has yielded a number of awards, including a 2006 induction into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame, and a handful of Best Song and Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Texas Talent Musicians Association.

Marez will break from the stage at 10 p.m., as 2010 Jamaica Queen Emily Rodriguez takes her final walk around the Jamaica Grounds before the Coronation ceremony, where she will pass along her crown to 2011 Queen Kristianna Castillo Aranda.

The party picks back up at 6 p.m. on Saturday as the booths at the Jamaica Grounds open.

A famous face will be missing on Saturday evening as the Jamaica celebration moves forward. After several years of being a fixture at the annual St. Mary’s Jamaica Celebration, Little Joe y la Familia will be stepping aside this year, and turning over the Saturday night spotlight to Grammy Award-winner Sunny Ozuna, who will be joined by special guest vocalist Jimmy Edwards.

The versatile Ozuna, who has a huge following in the Tejano music community, performs a distinctive blend of Tejano, country, rock and roll oldies and gospel music. A San Antonio native, he has been performing for more than 50 years, and will take the stage at Jamaica at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23.

Jamaica visitors are reminded that they are welcome to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets for seating, but that outside food and drink is not allowed in the Jamaica grounds. Admission is $3 for adults, with children under 12 admitted for free.


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