Get ready to immerse yourself in authentic Caribbean food and entertainment and watch as the city is taken to the islands during a weekend of cultural celebrations.
The 17th annual Grace International Jerk Food and Music Festival returns to Centennial Park in Etobicoke from August 9-12, featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine, live entertainment and fun activities for the entire family. With a talented line-up of musicians and a variety of vendors at the festival, there is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the weekend.
“Over the years attending the Grace Jerk Festival has become a tradition for people of all ages across Ontario,” says Anthony Plummer, Executive Director of the Festival. “We are so excited to be back for our 17thyear and we encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate the fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family friendly entertainment and good vibes!”
Some highlights of this year’s festival include:
Grace JerkFest’s Meet & Greet Boat Cruise
The River Gambler will set sail on August 9 from Pier 31 in downtown Toronto for a night of live music, meet and greets and great fun. Guests will meet Canadian R&B singer Melanie Durrant along with Jamaican reggae duo Chaka Demus and Pliers. With sounds by Canadian reggae DJ SPEX DA BOSS, guests will enjoy a delicious jerk meal during a three-hour cruise.
The Grace Hot & Spicy Jerk Chicken Eating Competition
Compete throughout the weekend and test your taste buds with some of the most delicious and spiciest jerk cuisine. Guests can register ahead of time or at the event.
The Grace So You Think You Can Jerk Competition
Put your jerk chicken cooking skills on display and enter the daily competition. The best in seasoning and jerking from each day’s competition will receive a trophy and a $100 cash prize. Runners-up will receive Grace JerkFest merchandise.
TD Cultural Stage
Experience great entertainment and talent on stage as upcoming artists showcase their musical and non-musical performances. TD Bank and Caribbean Promotions Arts & Culture Inc. have created this platform to honour the arts and local talent.
“There is something for everyone at the festival and we welcome everyone in the city and beyond to come experience it,” says Plummer. “It is the perfect time to get together with family and friends and enjoy the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean.”
The festival will also feature a Kidz Zone for families and children to enjoy which will include face painting, balloon characters, rides, rock climbing and a meet and greet with Caillou and the Care Bears. This feature will take place Saturday and Sunday and requires wristbands or tickets.