Nestled in the heart of urban New Kingston is one of Jamaica’s greatest historical treasures, Emancipation Park. It is themed a “Tribute to Freedom” and lives up to its theme visually with an 11ft bronze sculpture, named Redemption Song.
The prominent sculpture at the entrance of the park is of a black male and female looking up to the skies. It symbolizes a triumphant rise from the horrors of slavery.
Emancipation Park is located about 30-minutes drive from the Norman Manley International Airport. It is directly across the street from the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, and just minutes away from the Jamaica Hilton and other hotel accommodations.
Art enthusiasts will appreciate at the 11ft. Bronze sculpture created by acclaimed Jamaican artist, Laura Facey. Those with an eye for detail may notice the West African ‘Adinkras’ (Spiritual Symbols) which are interwoven throughout the park’s décor.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the amazing tropical flowers and plants, which provide various punches of color throughout the park. Red Geraniums compliment Yellow Lantana and contrast beautifully against the Pink and Peach Roses found in well-maintained flowerbeds strewn throughout the park.
Jamaican National Lignum Vitae trees and Tree of Life flowering plants also dot the environment, simultaneously beautifying, providing shade and channeling the light breeze throughout the park.
The center of the park features an expansive but not obtrusive stage with modern facilities for live entertainment. On Emancipation night, this stage comes alive with the best of Jamaica’s folk and local musical artists.
On any given day, you’ll find people playing chess or ping pong on the built in tables. There are also various aerobics classes taking place on the well-manicured lawn.
The scenery and overall expanse of the park is inviting and relaxing with various benches and seating areas sprinkled all over.
What to bring?
- comfortable walking shoes
- bottled water
- picnic basket (optional)
If you’re a runner, there’s no better place to go for a jog. The park is encircled by a walking/running path. As you go around it, you might begin to sweat from the intensity of the tropical sun but will be immediately cooled by the welcome breeze.
Emancipation Park is family-friendly and has enough beauty and serenity to please anyone.
Bathroom facilities are available at the park, and they are usually very clean. There are also a few water fountains/coolers around that are well maintained, but you’re probably better off bringing your own water.
Snacks and drinks can be bought from nearby vendors outside the gate. But if you’d like a proper meal, you can go across the street to the Sweetwood Jerk Center for some well flavored Jerk pork, or the Jamaica Pegasus restaurant (great burgers).
Emancipation Park is a vibrant, active symbol of Jamaica’s national heritage. Visitors are instantly hit with Jamaica’s historic energy and natural beauty, especially when contrasted against its’ growing urbanization.
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