Big Plans for Trelawny Yam Festival


The Trelawny Yam Festival, this year, is expected to be the best ever, attracting and benefiting thousands of Jamaicans, and visitors to the parish.
The event, being organized by the Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA), will take place on the streets of Albert Town, in the parish, on Easter Monday, April 12.
STEA’s Executive Director, Hugh Dixon, said the festival, with its main objective of promoting yam and its by-products, would increase the number of consumers purchasing the product; bring recognition to the area with its eco-tourism activities; and facilitate investment in the parish, which is Jamaica’s largest yam producing area, with over 40 per cent of the island’s production.
Mr. Dixon said the event would extend over a one-week period, starting with a schools competition on April 2, in which some 33 schools in Trelawny and its close neighbouring parishes would participate in poetry, song and essay writing competitions.
On the April 6, he said, there would be the farmers’ field day in Dutch Hill. “The field day allows farmers to come and celebrate. eating yam and preparing it as they would in the field, and to some extent we have very brief discussions on production, best practices, and look at marketing of the crop, and discuss issues related to production that affect farmers directly.”
He said that on April 8, at the Ulster Spring Primary School, the king and queen pageant exercise would be staged, where a young male and female who demonstrated an awareness of the local environment and yam production would be chosen. On Sunday, April 11, there will be a 50-kilometre bicycle race.
Mr. Dixon said the big Trelawny Yam Festival day would be showcasing the versatility and multiplicity of uses of yams. “We have several attractions on that day including a culinary competition for individuals and groups, a culinary face-off among hotels, where they enter beverages, appetizers, savouries, sauces and dips, main dishes and desserts.”
In addition, STEA’S Executive Director said “there will be a yam market where our patrons will purchase fresh yams from our farmers; we will have a yam demonstration area where people will get a chance to see the new technology in yam production; and we will also have a whole day of cultural presentation, where we draw on the best of Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) performers for the year”.
He said, as part of the day’s activities, a special provision would be made for the senior citizens who would be entertained with music from the 50s to the 70s, “and a number of give-a-ways, as persons come and dance to the ‘waltz, ska, mash potato, or rock steady’; while on the other side of town we have a another area specifically dedicated to the young people “.

JIS Social