FORT LAUDERDALE – As South Florida gears up for the 12th annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, scheduled for Nov. 10 at Markham Park in Sunrise, its board of directors announced a week of activities to warm up longtime patrons and entice attendees from other U.S. cities and the all over the Caribbean.
The festival, which attracts some 17,000 patrons each year, packs everything from cultural performances and culinary competitions, to entertainment and family oriented activities, into one phenomenal day centered on the world famous Jamaican jerk cuisine.
But the board decided that with patrons and Jerk Fest lovers clamoring for more, one jerk day is not enough. To spice up this year’s festival, the organizers have rolled out a week of activities beginning with the Hot Trot 5K Run/Walk at Markham Park on Sunday, Nov. 3. Health nuts and couch potatoes can converge at the park for the event, led by a Jamaican Olympic Champion. It will also feature a Health & Wellness fair and will benefit Team Jamaica Bickle Inc., a non-profit organization that supports Caribbean athletes at the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
For the Jerk Cooking Class set for Tuesday Nov. 5, culinary experts from Publix Apron’s Cooking School will give hands-on instructions and offer helpful tips on how to cook authentic Jamaican jerk.
The festival will bring A Taste of Jamaica to the University of Miami campus on Wednesday, Nov. 6, when students and faculty members will sample jerk foods and have a chance to win tickets to the festival.
On Friday, Nov. 8 is the Jerk Welcome Party, a reception for visitors who are making the trek from other U.S. cities and the Caribbean, with DJs bringing a Jamaican party vibe and celebrities hobnobbing with the crowd and signing autographs.
Rum, Wine and Jerk, A Taste of the Caribbean, the final precursor to the festival on Saturday Nov. 9 at Markham Park in Sunrise, will showcase the world’s premier Rum and Wine producers; The Caribbean’s top chefs and culinary personalities, along with several international celebrity chefs. World renowned Jamaican Jazz pianist Monty Alexander and other comparable performers will add to an evening of elegance.
The week of activities will culminate with the main event, the 12th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, a day packed with food, family, friends, entertainment and activities patrons have grown to know and love. More than 30 food vendors will offer a variety of jerk fare, as will the Publix Jerk Cook-off and the Grace Village.
In addition to various performance stages and the Party Pavilion, the festival will close with entertainment on Main Stage.
For other information contact 786-361-1103, email JerkFestivalinfo@jerkfestival.com or visit jerkfestival.com