Many young Jamaicans can be pardoned for thinking that the massive Grand Gala celebration of 2012 was the first of its kind, as the event seems to have disappeared from the national calendar for some time. However, those of a certain age group will remember the grand Independence street parades of the 60s and 70s that culminated at the National Stadium. Grand Gala was a big deal back then, and people lined the streets to enjoy the parades.
Take a look at some snapshots from the years gone by.
Grand Gala 1980
'From the Pages of Our History' was one of the costumed groups that participated in the 1969 Grand Gala.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael Manley, and Mrs. Beverly Manley view the parade of costumed groups from the Royal Box at the 1972 Grand Gala.
"Rainy Day" designed by Dwight Bonner and modelled by Keisha Gayle, placed 2nd in the Children's Costume Show at the 1990 Grand Gala.
The winning costume group parading at the 1972 Grand Gala at the National Stadium yesterday. The group is formed by the Chinese Benevolent Society and depicts aspects of Chinese culture.
The Tivoli Gardens Drum Corps leading the Festival Costume Parade into the National Stadium for Grand Gala 1971.
"Queen Anancy," portrayed by Marie Cassiers, won the Costume Queen competition at the 1991 Grand Gala.