Jamaica will add island sizzle to the annual Hartford Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival on August 1 at the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Downtown Hartford. Visitors can stop by Jamaica’s booth in the Caribbean Travel Village and learn about the destination’s wide variety of accommodations and attractions, as well as its roots as the origin of Jerk. Visitors can also learn about the island’s history as August 1 also marks Jamaica’s Emancipation Day celebrations.
“We are thrilled to share Jamaica’s culture, cuisine and history with the Hartford community as they celebrate the Caribbean. Jamaica is the home of Jerk, and we invite visitors to stop by our booth and learn about the island, our new Jerk trail and how they can travel to taste our delicious cuisine in its homeland,” said John Woolcock, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Business Development Manager – New England. “The fact that this festival falls on Jamaica’s Emancipation Day should be of extra importance to all Jamaica Diaspora living in and around Hartford.”
The Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival kicks off at 1p.m., and features delicious Jerk cuisine, a Caribbean games pavilion, healthy body pavilion and live music including Jamaica’s own Karen Smith and The Mighty Sparrow. Visitors will also have a chance to win a trip to Jamaica. The festivities will end at 11 p.m. with a live fireworks extravaganza.
The Hartford Taste of the Caribbean and Jerk Festival also falls on an important day in Jamaica’s history – Emancipation Day. On August 1, 1834 enslaved Africans in Jamaica were freed from slavery, and the anniversary of this historic day is celebrated each year by Jamaicans. The history of the Jerk technique originated with the Maroons, slave descendants who escaped their Spanish masters to Jamaica’s remote mountain areas.