FORT LAUDERDALE — In association with the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival’s 10th anniversary, singers, poets and bands are vying for the title of “Rising Star!” in the Digicel Talent Search.
Auditions for the contest were held Oct. 15 at Nova Southeastern University. Semi-finals will be on Oct. 26, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at the Ginger Bay Café in downtown Hollywood.
Finalists will take to the stage on Nov. 13 from noon-6 p.m. during the 10th Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, at Markham Park in Sunrise, where a panel of guest judges will decide who will be the Perfect 10! Along with the Perfect 10 title, the grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and other prizes including a recording session and the chance to become a Digicel Diaspora Ambassador. Contest information can be found at the jerkfestival.com promotions page.
In celebrating the tenth anniversary of the daylong family-friendly food festival, to which 20,000 patrons are expected to flock to feast on spicy and succulent jerk fare and a variety of cultural, sport and entertainment presentations, the organizers are promising patrons “Ten Times the Fun and Ten Times the Excitement.”
Since its inception in 2001, the festival has grown to become the “Biggest Caribbean Food Festival in the USA” focusing on authentic Jamaican Jerk — a tradition which began thousands of years ago with the island’s indigenous people — crossing ethnic lines into mainstream markets. The festival has been recognized as Best Annual Jamaican Event 2009 & 2010 (Ft. Lauderdale) by Jamaicans.com; one of the Top 10 Yummy Experiences by Get Lost magazine, 2007; and voted Best Festival by New Times Magazine in 2006.
Sponsor, Grace Foods, the leading Caribbean food manufacturer and distributor, will again add spice with an exciting series of in-store promotions at several leading retail outlets beginning in September right up to festival day. Expect lots of giveaways and special offers on Grace Food products, drinks and juices, which will create a buzz and benefit customers with significant savings.
“We are exceptionally proud to participate this year as we celebrate a very special milestone for the festival,” stated Joy Thomas, Grace Foods Southern USA market manager. “We would like to congratulate the team on 10 years well done, and to reaffirm our commitment to laying the foundations for an enduring tradition for many more years.”
Advance tickets, $15, are available at the festival’s website, www.jerkfestival.com and at selected Caribbean outlets. Children age 10 and under admitted free. For more information contact Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc., at 786-361-1103, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit jerkfestival.com
Photo: COURTESY OF JERK FESTIVAL
JERK FESTIVAL SCENES: Sun, food and fun.