St. Mary’s prepares for 35th Jamaica


One of the summer’s most long-standing and adored traditions will take place this weekend. St. Mary’s of the Visitation will host the 35th annual Jamaica celebration on the “Jamaica Grounds” at the corner of Pecan and North Church Streets.

As in years past, Jamaica 2010 is the main fundraising effort for St. Mary’s, with parishioners of all ages and walks of

life involved with all aspects of the celebration, from games for the children to bingo, to assembly of St. Mary’s famous tamales for the two-day tamale sale. As always, Grammy-award winning Tejano legend Little Joe returns to Lockhart for his annual appearance at what he has previously called his “favorite” gig.

Two royalty candidates, Meagan Jimenez and Emily Rodriguez have been competing throughout the summer, raising funds for the church in hopes of becoming this year’s Jamaica Queen.

The official Jamaica festivities begin on Friday night, when the Jamaica grounds open at 6 p.m. In addition to a variety of children’s games and the ever-popular Jamaica bingo, this year’s booth selection boasts jewelry and a country store, and snacks ranging fajitas to funnel cakes.

Grammy nominee David Marez will appear as a special guest during the Friday night dance, taking the stage at 8:30 p.m.

At 10 p.m. on Friday, the wait will be over for Jimenez and Rodriguez, one of whom will receive the crown from the currently seated Jamaica queen, Audrey Parra.

Throughout the day on Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending just before the Coronation, the Parish Hall of St. Mary’s will be open for the annual Tamale Sale. In the weeks leading up to Jamaica, the ladies of St. Mary’s gather to prepare thousands of tamales, which they sell during the festival while supplies last. The Parish Hall will reopen at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, and remain open until the last dozen tamales is sold.
The Jamaica Grounds will come alive again on Saturday evening, when booths reopen at 6 p.m., leading up to the appearance of Little Joe y La Familia at 8:30 p.m.

Residents of the community, Catholic or otherwise, are invited to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy two days of family fun at the 35th Annual Jamaica.


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