Once again, Jamaica is gearing up to celebrate the Montego Bay Jerk Festival on Saturday, August 1, at Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay. This sizzling party is a Caribbean foodie traveler “must,” as the annual festival showcases the best in authentic jerk dishes with tastings, local chef cook-offs and masters demonstrations. But that's not all! Jamaica's most renowned culinary tradition is celebrated during a full day of family-friendly outdoor fun that includes live entertainment, on-stage performances and even an amateur hour music competition featuring Devin Di Dakta and Ikaya.
Held every year on Jamaica's Emancipation Day, which marks the day in 1834 that slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, the festival truly embraces the island's rich history and heritage through jerk cooking. The originators of jerk cooking are the Jamaican Maroons, a group of escaped slaves who established free communities in Jamaica's mountains in the 17th century. The Maroons prepared the meat of wild pigs with a secret blend of seasonings and spices and roasted it underground. Today, the Maroons continue to flourish on the same lands as their freed ancestors, and their culinary contribution has been celebrated worldwide.
So, grab the family and savor authentic Jamaican jerk all while jamming out to some of the island's hottest entertainers.