There’s never a dull moment in Jamaica! Escape the winter blues and jet to Jamaica to experience the excitement and energy of its winter events, offering an eclectic mix of festivals, concerts, and delectable foods that guarantee a spirited island getaway.
“Jamaica is the perfect destination for travelers in need of a winter escape with extra sizzle,” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Regardless of the season, the island always brims with fascinating events that show off our culture and natural beauty, and ensure that the fun never stops.”
Harbor Fest and Fireworks on the Waterfront (Dec. 31, 2009) is a New Year’s Eve celebration with Jamaican flare. Join in the warm and welcoming melting pot of over 100, 000 pride-filled Jamaicans from across the island, ringing in the New Year with the phenomenal fireworks display on the Down Town Harbor in Kingston. This free event will also feature Kiddies Village, a massive craft vendors arcade, and family entertainment on stage. The captivating seascape, stunning fireworks and the company of friendly nationals will undoubtedly carve an indelible memory of a tropical New Year.
For history buffs, or those who are intrigued by rich island heritage, the 270th Accompong Maroon Festival (Jan. 6, 2010), in St. Elizabeth, celebrates the legendary Maroons of Western Jamaica who fought relentlessly and successfully against the British for their freedom. Visitors are able to partake in a variety of food and drink at the newly constructed African-styled Bickle (food) Village, while they are entertained with traditional singing, dancing, playing of the drums and blowing of the Abeng (horn).
For the Caribbean and International Jewry or those interested in exploring the island’s heritage tourism, Jamaica will be the host destination of the inaugural Jewish Diaspora Conference (Jan. 12-14) be held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston. The event will feature renowned experts from the United States, Jamaica, France and Israel, who will be addressing a wide range of topics from cultural history including architecture, music, and religion to exploring Caribbean Jewish identity and heritage. Tours of prominent sites in Kingston that are of significant and historic value to the Kingston Jewish Community will also be organized for participants.
Reggae lovers congregate at Rebel Salute (Jan. 16, 2010), now in its 17th year, to experience some of the top-tier reggae performers, both locally and internationally. Some of the past memorable acts included Luciano, Queen Ifrica, Tarrus Riley and Tony Rebel. At the festival, to be held at the Port Kaiser’s Sports Club in St. Elizabeth, visitors can also sample Jamaica’s Ital cuisine (food prepared without salt) that is synonymous with Rastafarian lifestyle.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival (Jan. 24-30, 2010) brings scores of eager tourists to the shores of Jamaica each year. Locals and visitors alike feast on tantalizing Jamaican and international cuisine while grooving to the enchanting sounds of jazz and blues from top musical acts on the national and international scene. Among the confirmed acts this year: Gladys Knight, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Tamia, Deborah Cox, Third World, Monty Alexander, Billy Ocean, Joe Roy Jackson, Kelly Price, Hall and Oats, Jon Secada, Roy Ayers, Marion Hall and the Max Klezmer Band.
Jamaica continues to be the hottest destination for Spring Break, and Spring Break 2010 kicks off from February – March 2010. The exciting party season takes place in Montego Bay and Negril. Enjoy discounts at Coral Cliff and Margaritaville Montego Bay and Negril; The Groovy Grouper, The Jungle and other exciting attractions.
Ensure Valentine’s Day is memorable with the ultimate retreat, the Global Wine & Chocolate Show (Feb. 5, 2010), to be held in St. Catherine. This special pre-Valentine’s Day event will feature world famous wines and spirits brands, leading chocolate brands such as Ferroro Rocher and Cadbury, as well as over 50 top gift suppliers and exhibitors on show.
Join the island as it commemorates the life and works of reggae legend the Rt. Hon. Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley,O.M. Bob Marley Celebrations (Feb. 2010) will be a series of activities throughout the month, which include a Bob Marley Symposium, a tribute concert to Bob Marley & Dennis Brown, “One Love” Football Match and a host of other exciting activities.
For the die-hard adventure seekers in search of the ultimate adrenaline rush, the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival (Feb. 6-13, 2010) is the cure for the winter blues! This year’s event, hosted in Oracabessa, St. Mary, is a unique event that can best be described as an exhilarating, yet fun-filled, voyage that’s not for the weak at heart. Some of its infamous mountain bike rides include lung-busting climbs, technical trail rides, fast downhill descents, double-track, and single-track, culminating with the Jamaican Bicycle Bash.
Can’t get enough of the island’s rich heritage? Fi Wi Sinting, (Feb. 14, 2010) now in its 20th year, is an annual event that celebrates Jamaica’s retention of its African heritage. Scheduled to be held at Somerset Falls in Portland, Fi Wi Sinting will feature activities centered around preserving and presenting historical and cultural ties between Jamaica and Africa such as Kumina, Jonkunoo and Anancy story telling. The day will also include poetry, fashion, and dance with special performances by a renowned drum/dance company.
For those yearning to embrace the literary culture of the island, Jamaica’s Premier International film event the Reggae Film Series (Feb. 16- 18, 2010) in Kingston, is the place to be. The three-day event is a screening of feature and documentary films as well as music videos that showcase reggae music and Jamaican culture as the central theme.
Ecotourists or individuals fascinated by Jamaica’s natural beauty will enjoy Misty Bliss (Feb. 28, 2010). This annual event is a traditional, Jamaican cultural festival that celebrates mountain pleasures and treasures – the cool, misty forest of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, Maroon culture including Jerk Wild Hog, Crayfish Run-down, “Blue Drawers”, “Chaklit” Tea, Blue Mountain Coffee, Kumina, Maroon Drummers, Craft, Ring Games at Pickney Sinting, and Environmental Education for Trail Hikers.
Not in Montego Bay or Negril to celebrate Spring Break? No problem, mon! Kingston has an equally vibrant and intense party scene. Carnival in Jamaica (Feb. 6 – April 11, 2010) is a highly anticipated event for locals and visitors alike. Over the past 22 years, Carnival has grown to unite thousands of Jamaicans and visitors for a ten week “feel good fest”. Carnival in Jamaica 2010 will offer over a ten week period, twenty-eight high-energy, fun-filled events beginning with Beach Jouvert and ending with the Road March, a costumed street parade where revelers enjoy Soca, Calypso and Reggae music.
Fun in the Son (March 20, 2010) is one of the island’s most anticipated gospel events, dubbed The Premier Christian Festival in the Caribbean. Fun in the Son, billed as an alternative spring break, transforms Kingston for one evening of Christian entertainment and ministry that brings together a diverse audience interested in an upbeat, vibrant gospel celebration. The festival will be held on the grounds of Jamaica College, located on Old Hope Road.
Bolt to the Trelawny Yam Festival (March 21, 2010), just outside the resort capital of Montego Bay, and discover what many Trelawny residents believe is the secret to the success of its most popular runners – yams! The festival is a celebration of Trelawny’s rich culture and heritage, which also involves the production of yams – for which the parish is best known. It has become the standard bearer for all local food festivals in Jamaica and boasts a number of events and attractions culminating in a grand festive occasion on Easter Monday each year.