Shrimp festival promises to entice taste buds
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:With very little corporate support, the organisers of the inaugural staging of the Caribbean Shrimp Festival are promising to ignite shrimp lovers' taste buds and bring Caribbean countries closer through food.
The festival will be hosted on July 14 at Whitter Village in Montego Bay. The event's director, Jackie Norman, said that it would be unlike any food festival Jamaica has ever seen.
"We know there are a lot of seafood festivals, but we wanted to create something that is unique that involves one type of seafood: shrimps," Norman said during the launch of the festival.
"Caribbean Shrimp Festival is a Jamaica 50-endorsed event, and some 12 Caribbean countries will be represented at the event. We are doing this at time when corporate sponsorship is not being offered, but we hope with this first staging, they will see the vision and partner with us next year. We want to take this event to other Caribbean islands."
Guest speaker Dr Cecil Cornwall, head of the Western Hospitality Institute based in Montego Bay, who further underscored the importance of having sponsors to execute an event of this nature, also urged companies to be a part of its staging.
"I implore all sponsors to get on-board to support the event in its infancy stage, as historically, food festivals are always successful events," he outlined.
Cornwall also noted that this would only help to enhance and confirm Jamaica's presence as a food destination.
"Shrimp festivals are not new to the world and are known to have provided economic growth, leisure, and entertainment to countries that have embraced such a culinary event. An event of this stature can only add to Jamaica's rich tourism product."
The day and night event will also feature the Cook-off Dad Competition, an art and craft show, a bikini pageant, as well as the crowning of Miss Caribbean Shrimp Festival 2012. There will also be a kids' zone, so parents are encouraged to bring the children out for a day of culinary and entertainment excellence.