Regional

MoBay Jerk Festival to kick- start Ja's 55th anniversary celebrations

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The eighth staging of the Montego Bay Jerk Festival, to be held at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre on Emancipation Day, August 1, will-kick start Jamaica's 55th anniversary of Independence celebrations.

The city will also play host to a grand gala at the famous Dump-up Beach on Independence Day, August 6.

“Emancipation Day, which is a holiday, kicks off our celebrations. You (Montego Bay) will be the opening event, and then on the 6th (of August) you will have the closing event, so it's a wonderful partnership,” said Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sports Olivia 'Babsy' Grange.

“This year the jerk festival takes on a different character as it will be vital in engaging people in the west of Jamaica to participate in our Emancipation and Independence celebration. So the jerk festival is now officially a part of the calendar of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the Ministry.”

Grange was speaking at the launch of Montego Bay Jerk Festival, held at the Decameron Hotel in the resort city, last week.

She noted that the jerk festival will, among other things, highlight Jamaican cuisine, which is famous and craved for across the globe.

“We are proud that, like our music, our food is being appreciated, but also replicated all across the world. The world is now dotted with restaurants serving Jamaican food.”

“Culinary activities such as the Montego Bay Jerk Festival give us an opportunity to market and present Jamaica as the home of authentic jerk and I am looking forward to that. This is part of the reason why my ministry has decided to support the Montego Bay Jerk Festival.”

The family event will feature a stage show featuring a strong line-up of artistes, including the likes of Sanchez, I-Octane, Masicka, Tanto Blacks, and Ricky Teetz.

Organiser of the festival John Lindo said patrons will be in for a great musical treat.

“Sanchez is excited to come. He is coming with his band. He has promised to give us a special performance for the family,” Lindo revealed.

“When we started eight years ago, I-Octane was one of the first artistes we used over there in Cornwall Court. He said the show is an important event to him and he promised to give a special performance also.”

Lindo added that a special feature of this year's show will be a domino tournament to be contested among the top teams in western Jamaica.

The festival will also feature cook-offs, food stations, fireworks, and several activities for children.

In the meantime, Lindo has displayed his spirit of philanthropy with the donation of items, purchased with proceeds from previous shows, to the St James Poor Relief.

“We were also happy to give back to the poor relief. It's an honour for me to give back something to the community—not just the community, but the city; not just the city, but the country. When you can give back something to your country it's always a blessing. And that's one of the things that I am happy about — that we could stretch our hands,” he argued.

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