Fri | Jul 10, 2020

All set for Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Chris Martin performing at Reggae Sumfest.
Bunji Garlin

The stage is set for the ninth annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, which was rescheduled to Sunday, August 25, at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York. The event was postponed due to a citywide heat emergency declaration on July 21 for public safety. The festival organisers have emphasised that tickets for the original date will be honoured, and that all entertainers who were scheduled to perform have been confirmed for the new date.

Headliners Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin, Shenseea, Capleton, Bunji Garlin, and rising star Naomi Cowan are all confirmed to deliver a musical smorgasbord to excite and delight festival attendees.

Key components

For almost a decade, the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, New York has focused on three key components; food, culture, and music, delivering a wholesome family experience at the highest level. The cultural presentations always go above and beyond to showcase authentic Jamaican artforms. For 2019, actor/comedian Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis and cultural activist, Sharon Gordon will bring iconic folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley, popularly known as ‘Miss Lou’, to life in celebration of the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Over in the Culinary Pavilion, foodies will be treated to tastings, demonstrations and competitions as various chefs share their knowledge, displaying the ‘jerk’ flavour in unique ways.

Host Chef Irie will bring his humorous style to the table, supported by celebrity chefs Ji Cha, Troy Levy, Darlene B, Sam Davis, all showcasing their culinary talents. The highly anticipated ‘Celebrity Cook-Off Challenge’ will be between performer and soca singer Fay-Ann Lyons and former personality from Love and Hip-Hop Tara Wallace.

New York’s top Caribbean restaurants and food vendors will be serving up a variety of Caribbean favourites, including vegan dishes, while the Kids Zone will keep the young ones busy with a variety of rides, face painting, interactive games and cultural activities. The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival has the unique distinction of being ‘New York’s biggest Caribbean food festival.