Visitors to the majestic island of Jamaica will have even more experiences to choose from this spring and summer with Jamaica’s exciting calendar of events. Through the summer, Jamaica has a wide-array of happenings to fit a range of interests including culinary, arts, entertainment, sports, and fashion.
The Jamaica Tourist Board is sponsoring many of the events, which are set to showcase the islands vibrant culture and roots such as its legendary music, world-class cuisine, adventure offerings, and more. Jamaica’s spring and summer calendar of events includes the following:
All Jamaica Grill Off, The Hope Botanical Gardens, Kingston
The fifth annual All Jamaica Grill Off competition is a culinary showcase of Jamaica’s best grilling chefs and Jamaica’s premiere invitational grilling competition. Patrons will enjoy an unlimited sampling from competitors’ booths and all-day entertainment. It will also feature a kids village with games, face painting, balloon vendors, pony rides, bounce-a-bouts and more.
Portland Jerk Festival, Boston Playing Field, Portland
A culinary escape for visitors wanting to sample Jamaica’s most famous style of cooking – Jerk. The Portland Jerk Festival features dishes such as jerk lobster, jerk conch, jerk sausage, jerk pork and jerk chicken. Visitors can also enjoy performances from local artists and community groups, as well as art and craft displays, a bounce-a-bout and merry-go-round and face painting.
Little Ochi Seafood Carnival, Alligator Pond, Manchester
Enjoy a range of culinary delights from the sea, including peppered shrimp and escoveitched fish (a variation on ceviche), on Jamaica’s South Coast. Top local reggae musicians and vintage artists will provide nonstop entertainment.
Pirates Gold “Rums of the Caribbean” Festival, Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay
Pirates Gold “Rums of the Caribbean” Festival returns to Jamaica in the second staging of the successful Rums and Spirit Expo. The festival will highlight the history of rum making in the region and the pirates who made the rums famous. Various rum brands and rum based products in the region as well as international markets will be showcased.
Style Week Jamaica/Fashion Block, Kingston
Saint International will host the sixth annual Style Week Jamaica and the internationally acclaimed Fashion Block. Both have become major events on the Jamaican fashion calendar. The event will feature cocktail receptions, seminars and glamorous runway shows, highlighting the works of international and local designers.
11th Caribbean Fashion Week, National Indoor Sports Centre, Kingston
Recognized as the pioneering fashion week in the region, Caribbean Fashion Week will feature fashion shows, concerts, business forums and exhibitions. Guests will also have the opportunity to network with some of the region’s best designers and other key members in the fashion industry.
Arts & Entertainment
Cruise with a Cause & Praise Fest, Montego Bay
May 30 – June 4
More than 3,000 people are expected to arrive in Jamaica via the Carnival Destiny cruise ship to participate in this faith-based, mission-driven event. A free gospel concert will feature popular artists and speakers such as Jentezen Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Eddie Long, Paul Morton and more. This mission trip will include school and prison visits.
21st Annual Jamaica Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival, Ocho Rios, Kingston, Montego Bay, South Coast
One of the Caribbean’s only pure jazz festivals, this event includes international performers from Europe, the United States and the Caribbean along with renowned Jamaican jazz artists.
Kingston On The Edge Urban Art Festival
This week-long event celebrates creativity and provides a platform for contemporary artists to showcase work that pushes conventional boundaries. Artists working in more traditional styles are also encouraged to participate as the festival celebrates the genius of art.
Reggae Sumfest, Catherine Hall, Montego Bay
Dubbed the “world’s greatest showcase of reggae music,” Reggae Sumfest is Jamaica’s premier music event showcasing top local and international artists. The event offers patrons an electrifying mix of performances from a range of genres. Previous headliners have included Rihanna, Shaggy, Jazmine Sullivan, Toni Braxton, Kerri Hilson, L.L. Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Beenie Man, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, among others.
Red Stripe Dream Weekend, Negril
July 29- August 1
Red Stripe Dream Weekend is an inclusive premium weekend complete with events during Jamaica’s Independence weekend celebrations. Over the course of the last seven years, this event has grown to become a staple on the Jamaican entertainment calendar for party lovers.
The Absolute Temptation Isle, Negril
July 29- August 1
Absolute Temptation Isle, which also unfolds during Independence weekend, includes a series of eleven parties across the Negril resort area. Participating venues include Waves Negril, Risky Business, Tamboo, and Margaritaville.
National Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala, Streets of Kingston
This stands as one of the most significant celebratory events on the Jamaican cultural calendar. The event unfolds in the streets of Kingston and will represent the achievements of the Jamaican people in various areas of life. Colorful floats, costumed groups, music trucks, classic cars and marching bands will adorn the streets of Kingston for this spectacular affair.
Stir It Up Film & Music Festival, Rose Hall, Montego Bay
August 31-September 3
Billed as the creative industries expo for the global village, the festival will feature a series of film screenings, musical showcases, workshops, and panel discussions, which aim to bring together creative consumers and developers throughout the world.
Makka Pro Surf Contest, Makka Beach, St. Thomas, Jamaica
This surfing event brings together regional and professional surfers who compete for the contest prize. The Makka Pro Surf Contest is part of the Caribbean Challenge Cup.
Montego Bay Yacht Club Annual Fishing Tournament
Recognized as one of the oldest competitive fishing event in Jamaica, avid sports fishing anglers from around the world are encouraged to participate.