The annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival will be held virtually on Saturday, March 13, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The event, being hosted by the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), will be streamed live on Facebook and Instagram @jamaicacoffefest from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, will head a list of participants in a segment entitled, ‘Wake up with Coffee’, which begins at 10:00 a.m.
Director of the TLN, Carolyn McDonald Riley, told JIS News that “while nothing can replace you driving up to the Blue Mountains, way up to the top at Newcastle and feeling the cold breeze,” the structure of the event had to be changed due to the measures that are in place to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The festival is normally held over a three-day period, but due to COVID, the festival is going to be executed virtually and this year it’s over one day,” said Mrs. McDonald Riley.
She further indicated that the event will be filmed from a location where some of the activities will take place.
Mrs. McDonald Riley pointed out that the new format presents an opportunity to reach persons who would not have been able to “go through the hills with us and to ensure that persons get a good experience, given that they cannot go to the venue”.
She informed that this year’s programme will include immersive conversations about coffee, livestreamed cooking demonstration, the annual Barista Competition finals, along with a musical performance by Agent Sasco.
“Yes, it’s a little different. We have to cut back considerably given the restrictions, but we will not take away from the experience of drinking coffee and the importance of coffee to our tourism destination,” Mrs. McDonald Riley added.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival is the Ministry of Tourism’s flagship event. The objective is to leverage gastronomy tourism as a medium for diversifying the Jamaican tourism product.