By Dawn Krebs
PORT ST. LUCIE - Every year, Jamaica has an Independence Day on Aug. 6 to celebrate its freedom.
This year, the celebration comes to the Port St. Lucie Civic Center, as a Reggae Independence concert will be held from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Reggae is a type of music that was first developed in Jamaica, and features drums, guitars and sometimes horns.
"Most of the time, we have concerts in West Palm Beach," said concert promoter Joseph Allen. "Everyone passes Port St. Lucie to come to the concert. So this year, it's here for the first time, and now people don't have to drive so far."
A variety of other bands will play throughout the day, such as Shinehead, and Mr. Allen said the event is for people of all ages.
"It's definitely a family event," he said. "We will have things for the children to do, and Jamaican food will be offered."
The main performer at the event will be international reggae artist Yellowman with his Sagittarius Band.
Last month, he performed in Europe, Israel and Japan. Now, Port St. Lucie is a stop on his U.S. tour.
Born Winston Foster, he grew up in several orphanages in Jamaica and was given the name Yellowman because he is albino.
He developed skin cancer in the early 1980s, and went through several surgeries, performing for large crowds during his recuperation.
One of his first albums was "Mister Yellowman," recorded in 1982. Over his career, he has put out more than 50 albums.
A similar reggae event, previously scheduled for the end of July, will take place at the civic center on Aug. 27.
Mr. Allen encouraged everyone to come out and experience reggae music.
"It's a celebration for us, and a lot of fun and music will be here," he said.
Tickets for the events are on sale now at Ticketmaster. For more information, call (800) 745-3000.