JIS News

More than 20,000 Jamaican nationals and friends in the Diaspora, turned out on November 9, to support the Jamaica Jerk Festival, at Markham Park, in Sunrise, South Florida.
In its seventh year, the Festival has been described as one of South Florida’s premium family events, with a host of activities for the entire family.
Since its inception in September 2002, the Festival has grown to attract thousands of people from around the United States and neighbouring Caribbean islands, making it a South Florida tourist attraction.
Indigenous to Jamaica, jerk cooking has gained worldwide popularity, making the event a celebration of authentic Jamaican jerk in its various forms.
Although chicken and pork are considered the staple items of this form of cooking, long lines of persons crowded the Food Pavilion, where nearly 30 vendors prepared other favourites, such as jerk fish and other sea foods, yam and tofu. Other culinary delights were also on sale during the day.
A variety of other stalls, selling all kinds of craft items, clothes, literary and cultural items, were set up by Jamaican-based community associations, including alumni, service and charitable groups.
Jamaican national, Janet James, of Fort Lauderdale, expressed a feeling of nostalgia, as the “sights and sounds make me feel like I am home.”
In the Jerk cook-off competition, Dr. Sharon Jefferson, of Plantation, emerged this year’s winner, and collected the Dutch Pot Trophy and a cash prize.
Since the inception of the annual Jerk Festival, live entertainment has been provided at the evening concert by outstanding Jamaican band, Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. This year, a special tribute was paid to the legendary bandleader, Byron Lee, O.J., who passed away on November 4.
The event was produced by Riddims Marketing and Jamaica Awareness, Incorporated, along with other corporate sponsors, including Publix, Air Jamaica Limited, Grace Foods, Western Union, Sun Sentinel, WAVS Radio and Caribbean National (CN) Weekly.