Reggae a connection between Ocho Rios and Polish town

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Reggae music festivals link the twin towns of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Ostroda, Poland.
Reggae music festivals link the twin towns of Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Ostroda, Poland.

A new partnership links a resort town in Jamaica with a town in Poland noted for its annual music festival, called the largest reggae party in central Europe.

Ocho Rios on Jamaica's north coast and Ostroda, three hours north of Warsaw, are now twin towns, according to Donovan White, Jamaica's director of tourism.

"Cultural and tourist exchanges between Ocho Rios and Ostroda will be a wonderful opportunity for Jamaica and Poland to learn more about each other's cultures and customs. One of the elements connecting our diverse destinations is our leading reggae festivals, namely Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute and the Ostroda Reggae Festival," he said.

This year marks the 18th edition of the Ostroda event. Over the years it has showcased more than 1,000 performers on three stages, including hundreds of Jamaican artists as well as more than 100,000 attendees. 

Reggae Sumfest has been held annually in mid-January for the past 25 years and is one of Jamaica's biggest music festivals. 

The three-day Ostroda Reggae Festival just concluded on July 8 and featured performances by Jamaica's EarthKry, among others.

The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after World War II, was designed to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation.

Since the 2000s, town twinning has been used to form strategic international business links between cities.

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