St. Catherine Jerk Festival celebrates inaugural launch

Torrential rains brought a premature end to the inaugural staging of the St. Catherine Jerk Festival in Linstead on Sunday, July 29.

Held on the grounds of the Dinthill Technical High School, hundreds of patrons had to scurry for cover as rains lashed the area.

The stageshow segment of the event, which had just gotten underway was affected by the downpour and disappointed many patrons who turned out to see Beenieman perform. 

When the BUZZ team saw the self-proclaimed King of the Dancehall, he was seated in his vehicle unable to exit. Other artists such as Jigsy King and Tony Curtis too, did not get their turn to perform.

Artists who performed during the earlier part of the show were Mr Handsome and Zazan Zazan, Villa Dutch and other upcoming artists as well as a host of comedians.

Patrons from as far as Manchester, Clarendon, Kingston, and Portland turned out for the inaugural event. Judging from those present, many saw the festival as a great initiative and well-needed for the developing town. 

Promoters of the event Audrey Betton and Christopher Angus were pleased with the support and expressed gratitude to the patrons who turned out with their families and friends to indulge in authentic Jamaican jerk.

“We are indeed grateful for the support and promise to continue the staging of the St. Catherine Jerk Festival as we see it has huge potential for local and international tourism,” Betton, one of the promoters told BUZZ.

Her business partner Angus said he was overwhelmed by calls from persons formerly of the area, who are now living overseas.

These returning residents have committed to come home to support the festival next year, insisting the event become a staple on Linstead’s entertainment calendar. 

Due to these and other encouraging factors, the team told BUZZ that they’ll be approaching the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) for support in developing bed and breakfast programmes.

They are also eyeing other training opportunities from the JTB for locals, to guide them into making Linstead rise steadily economically with the St. Catherine Jerk Festival and other entertainment events.