MONTEGO BAY, St James — TEN persons selected from the parishes of St Ann, Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland will represent the western region in the CB Pan Chicken Competition Grand Finals cook-off scheduled for November 24 in Kingston.
They were selected at the second of three elimination events held at the Dump-Up Beach in Montego Bay, recently.
But the event was far more than a cooking competition. While many attended to cheer on their favourite pan chicken chef, for most it was an outing for the family. For the children especially, the day was 'pan-tabulous'!
Despite the scorching heat, the National Kiddies Village which featured free rides all day was never empty. In between rides, the children and adults posed with CB, the giant chicken, or Thrifty Bee, First Heritage Credit Union's mascot.
Those without stage fright participated gleefully in modelling and dancing contests on stage. When that got boring they ran around with the clown or tried to reach the men on stilts. With lots more energy to spare the children got their faces painted, blew animal-shaped balloons, had snow cones, or took messy -mouth photos after eating CB Pan Chicken, drenched with Grace Tomato Ketchup.
Maxine Ackbersingh, who travelled with her family from Kingston, said the event was worth it.
"I brought the children because summer is coming to an end and I realised we haven't done anything as a family. I figured this would have been a good event, and it was," she said.
Not to be outdone, the adults visited the various pan chicken competitors to find their own winners, in addition to browsing and patronising many of the sponsors. Onstage, Elva and Courtney Campbell kept the crowd in stitches, laughing at neighbours toothlessly devouring pan chicken, as many won prizes during eating competitions.
Seemingly enjoying the fun more than the children, adults watched in amazement as Turner the Magician released a live bird from a pan with pieces of newspaper and an egg. He also pulled money from pieces of tissue, a bird from a bag and bent a sword around a man's neck without harming him.
Still the highlight of the day would be the afternoon concert featuring gospel artiste Prodigal Son, as well as dancehall acts Bugle and Tanya Stephens, who had the packed venue dancing to popular lyrics.