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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Annual Grace Jerk Food Festival features jerk cuisine, live music and family entertainment


TORONTO, ONT. (June 2016) – One of Toronto’s largest celebrations of jerk cuisine and Caribbean culture is returning for its 15th year this summer.

Happening August 5-7 at Centennial Park in Etobicoke, Grace Jerk Food Festival (JerkFest) is a fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family-friendly entertainment and good vibes, highlighting the Caribbean culture under the hot Toronto sun. 

“JerkFest has continued to grow over the years and has become a highly anticipated calendar event for residents of many cultures,” says Anthony Plummer, Executive Director of the Festival. “The amazing jerk food and live music are definitely highlights, but the festival has really gained a reputation for its community togetherness and celebration of culture. We’re excited to continue the legacy in our 15th year.”

For food lovers, JerkFest is about the unique tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aroma of jerk cuisine. But it’s more than a food festival.

Along with the usual tantalizing tastes and array of jerk dishes—from chicken, pork and beef to lamb, seafood, vegetables—JerkFest 2016 has a stellar music lineup on Saturday and Sunday that will be headlined by reggae legends Third World, with additional acts including Etana and L.U.S.T.

There will also be a vendor market, kids zone and the Grace Experience Tent where visitors can learn how to make traditional jerk dishes, along with additional features including: 

JerkFest VIP Garden – Purchase VIP tickets and enjoy a mouth watering jerk chicken meal prepared by two-time JerkFest champion vendor Bliss Tropical Cuisine, mingle with the celebrities in attendance and refresh yourself with tasty beverages from your reserved front-row seat as you enjoy the show.

The Grace Hot & Spicy Jerk Chicken Eating Competition – Patrons will get a chance to test their bravery and tolerance by testing some of the spiciest jerk chicken—so hot entrants are required to sign a health waver—in an interactive contest. Registrations are now open online at www.jerkfestival.ca and attendees can also register on-site.

The Western Union Drop-A-Six Domino Challenge – Dominos are a favourite pastime in Caribbean culture. Festival-goers can enter to play alongside their peers in the ultimate domino showdown.

TD Culture Stage - New to the festival this year is the TD Culture Stage. This stage will feature upcoming music artistes and artisans alongside non-music acts. 

“JerkFest is a perfect event for families to enjoy together, whether it’s trying new foods, catching live music or playing in the engaging kids zone,” Plummer says. “It’s also a venue for local businesses to showcase their unique products and services and a stage to showcase up-and-coming talent.”

For more information on JerkFest, visit www.jerkfestival.ca, follow @JerkFestival on Twitter and JerkFest on Instagram, use the hashtags #jerkfest2016, #jerkfestTO and #GraceJerkFest, and like JerkFest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jerkfestCanada.

About JerkFest

JerkFest is an annual event celebrating jerk cuisine and Caribbean culture organized by not-for-profit organization Caribbean Promotions Arts & Culture Inc. It was initially started in 2002 to fill the void after the hype of Caribana and extend the Caribbean festive summer season. JerkFest has been voted by BlogTO as one of Toronto's top 50 must attend summer events in 2014 and 2015 and one of Ontario's top 100 festivals since 2011.   

Now in its 15th year, JerkFest has grown to be staple calendar event in Toronto and draws thousands of visitors each year. JerkFest 2016 will take place from August 6-7 at Cenntennial Park in Etobicoke. For more information, visit www.jerkfestival.ca.


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