Heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Ernesto on Sunday forced the postponement of the popular Ocho Rios Seafood Festival. The event has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 14 (the Sunday before Heroes' Day).
"These are the types of things that will happen from time to time," explained Camille Miller, the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival's senior marketing manager. "We knew we were in for a massive turnout but then the rains came. Following a meeting with all relevant stakeholders, the decision was taken to reschedule, with the Heroes' Weekend looking like the most suitable date."
Miller noted that food vendors who had purchased stalls will be accommodated at no extra cost and that there will be an "across the board reduction" for entrance fee.
"The adult entrance fee will be reduced from $1,000 to $700 while kids under 12 will now be required to pay $200, down from $400," she noted. "This is the signature event for the garden parish of St Ann and we have to make these decisions based on the current economic climate."
"Our vendors and patrons are very important to us," she said. "Some very poor and decent hard-working people lost some good money preparing food for this festival and we have to bear that in mind. The calls have been pouring in from them for us to reschedule and they, more than anybody else, have influenced the decision to try again this year."
Miller added that all the entertainers, including headliner Tommy Lee, have agreed to accommodate the new date for the festival.
"Everyone saw what happened and have all been very supportive," she said. "We can all rest assured, God's willing, that there will be an Ocho Rios Seafood Festival for 2012 in St Ann."
The festival is one of the biggest food festivals in the country and was one of the endorsed Jamaica 50 events.