'Jerk Festival' to Offer Best of Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on July 19, 2013 2:03pm 

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 The event this Sunday will feature Jamaican cuisine and music performances, including Shaggy.
Jamaican Jerk Festival
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QUEENS — It will be “boombastic.”

The Jamaican Jerk Festival, which will feature a cook-off hosted by actor Leon Robinson, climbing walls and magicians for kids, and Shaggy, the singer of the hit song "Boombastic," will rock Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica this Sunday.

“We are expecting about 12,000 to 14,000 people, which makes it the biggest Caribbean food festival in New York,” said Neil Robertson of VP Records, a Jamaica, Queens-based reggae record label, which is co-producing the festival. “People come from as far as Boston, Toronto and Atlanta.”

Fab 5 and Jamaican reggae singer Christopher Martin will join Shaggy at the main stage.

There will also be a smaller cultural stage and a pop-up art gallery, where artists will celebrate traditional Jamaican culture, including folk dancing, story telling, spoken poetry and drum beating.

During the cook-off, which will culminate the festival, about 15 local restaurants will try to prove that they “make the best Jamaican food and the best jerk chicken in New York,” Robertson said.

Chefs from various Caribbean restaurants, including the Lower East Side’s Spur Tree and Super Wings in Crown Heights, will also offer a cooking demonstration.

Children will be busy at a “kidz zone,” which will boast climbing walls, magicians and face painting.

“It’s a family day that celebrates Jamaican culture and captures the total Jamaican experience,” Robertson said.

The third edition of the annual Jamaican Jerk Festival will take place this Sunday, noon to 8 p.m., at Roy Wilkins Park at the intersection of Merrick and Baisley boulevards in Jamaica, Queens.
Cost: $25 in advance, $40 at the door. Free for children 12 and under. To get more info, go here.

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