Thousands of persons turned out for the annual Portland Jerk Festival, which was held on Sunday (July 4) at Folly Estates in Port Antonio.
In addition to the famous ‘Boston jerk pork’, patrons partook of jerk rabbit, duck, lamb, chicken, sausage, among other fare.
Public Relations Manager for the festival, Collin Bell, said that despite the overnight rain, which left the grounds soggy, the patrons thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Imeacha Powell enjoying jerked fish at the Portland Jerk Festival held on Sunday, July 4, at the Folly Estates in Port Antonio.
“We had a nice crowd. We had some rain, but we are Jamaicans and that did not deter us. Everybody basically enjoyed themselves and the vendors did brisk business,” he told JIS News.
Mr. Bell said that he was pleased with the strong support from local and overseas patrons over the years.
Reigning jerk champion, Oraine Jackson, in an interview with JIS, said he uses only natural seasonings such as escallion, thyme, pepper and garlic, in preparing his jerk products. “It gives them a most unique taste,” he said.
Mr. Jackson said that he was pleased with the sales and was looking forward to next year’s event.
Patron Christine Spencer, who resides in England and was attending the festival for the first time said she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
“It is fantastic, I love it. It is really nice, apart from the mud, but it’s really, really good. I like the vibes, yes, it’s good,” she said. Miss Spencer also noted that she would recommend the event to others.
In addition to the jerked fare, the festival featured entertainment for adults and children, including a Kiddies Village offering rides, games, face painting, games, bounce-about, and merry-go-round.
A stage show, held in the evening, included performances from artistes such as the Mighty Sparrow, Busy Signal, Cecile, Charley Blacks, Peter Lloyd, Richie Stephens, Leroy Gibbons, Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, Sister Skully and other entertainers from the parish.
Portland Jerk Festival, which began in 2000, has become a popular calendar event for both locals and visitors to the island. It is a celebration of two Jamaican traditions – reggae music and the jerk cuisine.