jerk-festival-web.jpgSpecial to South Florida Times

South Florida will sizzle this November when the ninth annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, the largest Caribbean food festival in the United States, gets underway at Markham Park in Sunrise.

The event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, has grown in size and popularity and is attended by about 18,000 people from various cultures and age groups.

Each year, families and friends have flocked to the festival for jerk foods and the explosion of Caribbean culture which have become a hallmark of the event.

“We take pride in producing a festival of this caliber and continue to work diligently to improve the event,” Eddy Edwards, chairman of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA Inc., said in a statement announcing the event.

“Our goal is to produce an event of the highest quality, delivering satisfaction to both patrons and sponsors,” Edwards said.

Grace Foods, the title sponsor and a leading Caribbean food manufacturer and distributor, will add more spice to the event with its culinary delights. 

Featured will be Step into Grace Kitchen with Chef Mazie Miller, whose cooking demonstrations will wow patrons.

One of the main features of the festival is the popular Publix Jerk Cook-Off in which jerk cooks compete for a cash prize, bragging rights and the Dutch Pot Trophy.

Food vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of jerk products to titillate the senses and satisfy the palate.

Music will be provided from the Digicel and Western Union stages, along with cultural presentations from The Main Stage featuring the enduring Byron Lee’s Dragonaires, John Holt and Richie Stephens.

Caribbean sports such as cricket,  football, netball and, of course, the always exciting domino tournament will be played.

Kids will be kept busy all day in the Kidz Fun Zone.  ­



WHAT: Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Markham Park
16001 W. State Road 84, Sunrise
COST: $15 in advance, $20 at the gate, children under 10 free

Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, ­954-369-9002,,

Photo courtesy of Yvette N. Harris
SPICING THINGS UP: Vanessa and Rodney compete in the celebrity chef cook-off at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival last year.