There are so many super cool events happening in Jamaica every year!
Here’s my attempt to compile a sort of calendar of annual events happening in Jamaica.
I won’t include actual dates for some events as they change each year, but google will tell you actual dates.
Please feel free to comment re others and please let me know if I have anything not quite right.
I’ll try to keep this updated so check back for new additions!
• Accompong Maroon Festival (Accompong, St. Elizabeth, January 6): Celebrated by the Maroons of Western Jamaica, Maroons are descendants of runaway slaves. Involves traditional singing, dancing, ceremonies.
• Annual Rebel Salute (Priory, St. Ann, January): Rebel Salute is a popular roots reggae show. Starting out as a concert to celebrate the birthday of reggae icon Tony Rebel, Rebel Salute has captured the adoration of roots reggae lovers worldwide, pulling thousands of people to experience a live music festival. It serves a strict vegetarian menu complimented by a diet of cultural roots rap. In tandem with this, is the concept of a drug-free, violence-free and non-alcoholic event.
• Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival (Trelawny, January): This world-class event is known for bringing a fantastic line-up of international and Jamaican artists to the stage.
• Reggae Month, (Kingston, February 1 – 28): Reggae Month highlights the impact of reggae on the island’s social, cultural and economic development. Organized by The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), Reggae Month includes a wide array of events, including concerts, festivals and seminars that showcase the true essence of Jamaican music.
• Bob Marley Birthday Celebrations (Kingston, February 6): Bob Marley’s birthday celebrations usually take place at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston on February 6. Activities often include symposiums on reggae and reggae jam sessions. http://www.bobmarleymuseum.com/
• Kingston City Run (Kingston): The Kingston City Run features a range of races including a 5K, 10K and a half marathon. http://kingstoncityrun.com/
Bacchanal Jamaica (Kingston, various events) Jamaica Carnival also known as Bacchanal Jamaica officially starts in February and culminates with Jouvert in April 10 and the Road March the weekend after Easter in April. http://www.bacchanaljamaica.com/
Jakes Annual Off Road Triathlon (Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth). Did you know that Jake’s Triathlon was rated as one of the Top Five Global Off-Road Triathlon from Triathlete Magazine in 2010? http://www.jakeshotel.com/triathlon2017/
• Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta (Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth): Held every other year (the years when Calabash is not being held), Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta is a culture filled event for lovers of literature, featuring established and emerging writers.
• Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest: The Tmrw.Tday movement in a weeklong cultural gathering along Jamaica’s beautiful Seven Mile Beach in Negril. The first annual Tmrw.Tday culture fest offers soul-enriching wellness, fitness, gastronomy, conscious music, natural healings and experiences for all walks of life. http://tmrwtday.com/
• Style Week Jamaica (Kingston): Style Week Jamaica and the blockbuster, internationally acclaimed Fashion-Block have become major events on the Jamaican entertainment/fashion calendar. The after parties, VIP cocktail receptions, seminars, supermodels and glamorous runway shows, appeal to fashionistas from around the world.
• Kingston on the Edge Urban Arts Festival (Kingston): KOTE is a week long celebration of creativity. Providing a forum outside of the traditional spaces, the Festival allows artists to express themselves and push the boundaries and definitions of their art. http://kingstonontheedge.org/
• Jamaica International Ocho Rios Jazz Festival (islandwide): The festival offers a week of great music, top entertainment and community participation. On the lineup are international performers from Europe, the United States and the Caribbean along with renowned Jamaican jazz artists.
• Caribbean Fashion Week (Kingston): Recognized as one of the Caribbean’s top fashion and style events, Caribbean Fashion Week is held each year in Kingston. It features renowned designers and emerging talent showcasing their collections. http://www.caribbeanfashionweek.com/
• Calabash Literary Festival (Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth): Now held every other year so the next one will be 2018. Calabash is widely recognized as one of the Caribbean’s premier literary events and features world renown writers. http://www.calabashfestival.org/2016/index.html
• International Reggae Day (island-wide, July 1): On July 1, visitors can celebrate all things reggae in Jamaica where the musical genre was born. http://www.ireggaeday.com/
• Portland Jerk Festival (Portland): Portland is the home of jerk, and its Portland Jerk Festival showcases all things jerk. Participants are treated to a feast of jerk lobster, fish, chicken and pork. Activities include performances from local artists and community dance groups, arts and craft displays, a merry-go-round and face painting.
• Reggae Sumfest (Montego Bay): An anticipated annual reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest showcases the best talents in roots, rock and reggae music from both Jamaican and international performers. It’s the greatest reggae show on earth! www.reggaesumfest.com
• Little Ochie Seafood Carnival (Manchester): The Little Ochie Seafood Carnival is a celebration of the wide array of culinary delights available on the south side of the island. Little Ochie restaurant is nestled on the rugged beachfront of a quaint South Coast fishing village called Alligator Pond. Top local reggae musicians and vintage artists are featured along with excellent cuisine and a non-stop party. www.littleochie.com
• Mobay Jerk Festival (Montego Bay): This food festival is an excellent opportunity for visitors to enjoy jerk cuisine in Montego Bay. www.montegobayjerkfestival.com
• Walk For Breast Cancer Awareness (Treasure Beach): Inspired by the strength of Janette Kaloo, a resident and businesswoman of Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, wife, mother, and breast cancer survivor. Ms. Kaloo along with the Treasure Beach Women’s Group, conceptualized in 2014, the Treasure Beach 6K Walk for Breast Cancer to raise awareness of breast cancer research, create an active support group and raise funds to assist women in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica combating the disease.
• South Coast Hook & Line Canoe Tournament (Treasure Beach): This tournament is a 3-day competition during which local fishermen vie for prizes by catching the largest fish using only traditional fishing methods of a simple hook and line. No fancy yachts or first world equipment are to be seen at this grass roots event. The weekend also includes other exciting events such as a boat race, local talent show, fish fry and community beach party. The competition will feature environmental exhibits and entertainment.
• Grosvenor Galleries Craft Fair (Kingston): Usually on the first weekend in December, this craft fair features mostly locally made art and craft items.
• Potters Fair (Kingston): Features a wide variety of local pottery and art.
• Market on the Lawn (Kingston): Held at Devon House each year, features a wide variety of art and craft.
• Liguanea Art Festival (Kingston): Caribbean’s premier art festival showcasing the best talents in photography, sculpting, jewellery, painting, and more. Free Entry. http://liguaneaartfestival.com/
• Reggae Marathon (Negril, December): This marathon, half marathon and 10k race are Jamaica’s premier international marathon event with sport enthusiasts converging on Negril for a fun event with good vibes and reggae music at each mile. www.reggaemarathon.com
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Happening In Jamaica Each Year
There are so many super cool events happening in Jamaica every year!