Photo Credit: TN
The Popular Florida Jerk Festival Is Back Just In Time For Memorial Day
In May, Florida will host a festival that celebrates the authentic Jamaican flavor. The Florida Jerk Festival will showcase 15 restaurants from South and Central Florida, providing tasty Jamaican jerk dishes.
In addition, attendees will have the chance to experience live music and more. The Florida Jerk Festival, rebranded from the Palm Beach Jerk Festival, will take place on Memorial Day, from 3 pm-11 pm at the John Prince Park.
Jerk is the most popular way to prepare a dish in the Caribbean. The mixture of cayenne pepper, thyme, and other ingredients brings out a bold, undeniable flavor.
“The Florida Jerk festival is an event for the entire family. No school, No work, Nuff Jerk. Come for the food; stay for the fun. We are truly looking forward to this year’s celebration, as we continue to highlight Jamaican Jerk cuisine’s spirit and vibrant culture,” Damian Tater, CEO of Full-A -Vybez Ent, told Travel Noire.
Full-A -Vybez Ent is one of the producers of the Florida Jerk Festival.
According to the organizers of the event, people will be able to enjoy live performances from reggae artists Dig Dong, Destra Garcia, Fab 5, and Cham.
“I am looking forward to just seeing the fans. We, as entertainers, don’t get to perform in front of kids every day. So having the whole family there makes the Florida Jerk Festival special,” Cham stated.
Last year, the event made its return after being postponed by COVID-19. Last year the festival attracted over 10,000 people. Reggae superstar Shaggy headlined the concert.
Between the year off and the time leading up to this year’s festival, Tater said that he and his team had the chance to take a step back and re-strategize the annual event.
“COVID gave us a chance to restart and refocus. My team and I were able to dissect where we are and where we need to be” he commented.
For him, the results lead to several new additions like a mixologist sampling powered by Duke and Dame, a salty caramel whiskey brand, an updated interactive kids zone, food demonstration, a newly curated jerk cook-off, a food demo, and updated cabana service for those who wish to view the concert in comfort and style.
As many of the restaurants still struggle to recover, Tater said that he wants to use the Festival to help them to get back on track. He explained that more attention will be on the chefs who make the food in the Jerk Experience.
Donovan Thompson, the owner of Kingston Delight, is one of the many chefs that will offer attendees at the Florida Jerk Festival the authentic Jamaican jerk flavor.
“As a chef, this jerk festival forces you to be on point. They are coming out here to eat,” said Thompson.
“The Florida Jerk Festival is the culture of Jamaica. It is made for people who can’t be in Jamaica but want to soak up the food and the vibes,” said Cham.
Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased at floridajerkfestival.com