Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Thousands Turn Out For Rainforest Seafood Festival

Published:Saturday | February 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMKarrie Williams

The annual Rainforest Seafood Festival keeps getting better.

Last week Wednesday, the event had yet another successful staging. Thousands of patrons converged at its home grounds, the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay.

The festival brought out a host of corporate entities, including National Commercial Bank, ATL Automotive Limited and the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, among others; all eager to support the Cornwall Regional Hospital and We Care Foundation, to which the festival donates its proceeds, annually.

"The entire proceeds of this festival are donated to the We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital," said Ernest Grant, general manager, Rainforest Seafoods.

"This amount is used by the hospital to support various areas of its operations. In our first year, in 2013, we donated $6 million, which was used to buy ventilators for the paediatric ward. In our second year, we donated $8.5 million, and that was used to refurbish the accident and emergency ward. This year, the plan is to buy more life-saving equipment for the hospital, off the $10 million which we hope to raise."

Along with corporate entities, food outlets dotted the venue, offering a variety of seafood and dishes that permeated the grounds with aroma. For the thousands of patrons in attendance, there was not enough to go around. Throughout the day and night, patrons flocked the outlets, sampling everything from grilled lobster and seafood casserole, to escoveitch fish and bammy.

In addition, mobile vendors also contributed to the cuisine with fresh fruits and a variety of sweets and baked products, which the children, especially, seemed to enjoy the most.

With just about every age category represented at this year's staging. Rainforest Seafoods once again showed why it is highly regarded as a favourite family outing in western Jamaica. The day-and-night event was loaded with fun activities, prizes and surprises for everyone.

Children's entertainment

There was an entire section cordoned off for entertaining younger children and pre-teens. They were feted with face painting, a mechanical bull ride, miniature rock climbing, trampolines and slides. Chukka Caribbean Adventures offered horseback riding, ATV drives and a mini-zip line. In addition, there were clowns and fun experiences for children and for those adults who are young at heart.

Popular radio host Jenny Jenny served as the day's MC. She evoked non-stop laughter with her witty sense of humour. Jenny Jenny engaged every age category of patrons, calling persons to the stage to answer questions or to participate in contests.

One contest, in particular, the puppy tail dance-off, had everyone in stitches. The MC, of course, led the charge, demonstrating to a group of predominantly older ladies how this dance is done.

In the end, a visitor from Georgia, United States, emerged winner and walked away with a gift basket, courtesy of Walkerswood Caribbean Foods.

In the close of daylight, the event took on a more mature theme, a star-studded stage show, featuring the doctor, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and gospel artiste Lieutenant Stichie, among others.

Their performances closed the show on a high, crowning the Rainforest Seafood Festival king of all festivals in western Jamaica.