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Maroon Jerk Festival Jamaica
An Unforgettable Cultural Experience

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accompong_maroon_festival_.jpgMaroon Jerk Festival Jamaica | Accompong Maroon Festival

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Looking to immerse yourself in Jamaican culture? There's no better time to visit than during the first annual Maroon Jerk Fest. It will be held from August 4-6, 2024 and is set to take place at the Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the Upper Rio Grande Valley of Portland. It's the perfect excuse to pack your bags and head to Jamaica for an unforgettable cultural experience!

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Why the Maroon Jerk Fest is a Must-Visit

Did you know that the Maroons are the original creators of our traditional and now world famous Jerk cuisine? But despite this rich heritage, there hasn't been a major jerk festival in a Maroon community—until now. The Maroon Jerk Fest aims to highlight and preserve Maroon's culinary traditions, culture, and the environment while injecting capital into the local communities.

The Venues

Massey Riverside Lawn: This venue will host the main stage for a variety of performances, including Maroon, Kumina, Reggae, spoken word, poetry, and comedy. You can also explore booths showcasing arts and crafts, traditional herbal products, and more. There's even a Kidz Zone to keep the little ones entertained.

Katawud Village: For a more intimate experience, you can head over to Ginger House, where Katawud Village will host live cultural edutainment, film screenings, arts and crafts, and plenty of jerk dishes. This venue promises a cosy atmosphere for visitors looking to soak in the local culture.

Community School: The local school will transform into a hub of activity, with classrooms hosting arts and crafts workshops. You can participate in paint-and-sip sessions, and craft workshops using bamboo, straw, and other natural materials. The school will also provide parking and camping facilities for festival-goers.

What to Expect

Food and Drink: Prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey like no other. From traditional jerk pork, chicken, and fish to innovative jerk vegetables and sauces, there's something for everyone. Don’t miss the farmer’s market where you can buy fresh produce and other local products to take home.

Cultural Performances: The festival will feature a vibrant mix of music and performances, from traditional Maroon and Kumina music to Reggae, Dancehall, Afrobeats, and more. It's a fantastic opportunity to experience the rich tapestry of Afro-Jamaican culture.

Tours and Activities: Beyond the festival, you can book tours to explore the Rio Grande Valley’s natural beauty. Whether it’s a hike through the mountains or a visit to the local waterfalls, the Maroon community tour guides will ensure you have an enriching experience.

The festival is the brainchild of the Fuller family, who have deep roots in the Maroon communities of the Rio Grande Valley. Led by Dr. Harcourt Fuller, a history professor and Fulbright Global Scholar, the Fullers bring a wealth of experience in food, music, and cultural preservation. Together with his nephew, Kimoy “Pustinho” Fuller, a music producer and CEO of Roehampton Production, they’ve crafted an event that honours their heritage while welcoming visitors from around the world.

Accommodations can be arranged through the festival’s website, including guest houses and rooms in local homes. For those who prefer to stay closer to nature, camping is available at Katawud Village Kampgrung. Remember to book early as spots will fill up quickly!

Given the high rainfall in the area, you may want to pack your rain gears such as boots, raincoats, and umbrellas so you can stay dry and still enjoying the festivities.

So, are you ready to experience Jamaica like never before? The Maroon Jerk Fest promises three days of incredible food, music, and culture in one of the most beautiful settings on the island. Mark your calendar for August 4-6, 2024, and get ready for a festival that’s sure to become an annual highlight.

And as you prepare to visit for the festival use our guide, Jamaica On A Budget, to plan your trip to Jamaica in the most cost-effective way. Then for even more savings, book with us through Stay22 for major discounts.

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References & Sources For Maroon Jerk Festival Jamaica

  1. Giving Back  | Maroon Jerk Fest. (n.d.). Maroon Jerk Fest. https://www.maroonjerkfest.com/giving-back
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