The 2014 West Palm Beach Jerk Festival was a rousing success. The early afternoon was chock-full of family fun. Children of all ages enjoyed the fun and games under the sunny South Florida skies. Of course a Jerk Festival would not be complete without food. The smell of Caribbean spices swept across the South Florida Fairgrounds. Jerk, curry, escoveitch, brown stew and even soup was on the menu. Take your pick, the vendors had it covered.
The cooks at the food tents did not do all the cooking at the festival. Several chefs participated in a Jerk Cook Off competition. The contestants expertly prepared a variety of jerk dishes for the judges and a few lucky festival attendees were able to sample. Cooking tips were shared and of course Jamaica’s very own Grace Foods displayed an assortment of spices, juices and condiments to complement any meal.
The second half of the Jerk Festival was a musical line-up of some of Jamaica’s top artists. Foundation artists Josie Wales, Marcia Griffiths and Franky Paul showed the crowd why they had such staying power. Old hits mixed with new hits, and of course respect to reggae legends filled out their performances.
Romain Virgo was an advertised performer, however he missed his flight to South Florida. Showing the utmost respect for those in attendance, show promoters Full-A-Vybez Inc. reached Romain in Jamaica and had him record an apology. The video was played to explain his absence. Nice touch by the promoters.
Show closer Mr. Vegas was there with his usual energy packed performance. He went from gospel to old school dancehall then on to his current hits. Paying homage to his monster tune Bruk It Down, Vegas called several young ladies to the stage to see who could bruk it down the best. Since this was a family affair, contestants were reminded to keep the dances family friendly.
2014 was the 11th year of the Palm Beach Jerk Festival. I must say, this was one of the best jerk festivals I have attended. Fantastic group of people in attendance, top class entertainment, excellent venue and an extremely professional production company made for a successful event. This festival will continue to grow and I look forward to attending next year.