Grand weekend showcase
Veteran reggae singers Richie Spice, Jesse Royal, and Luciano will headline the inaugural staging of the Treasure Beach Food, Rum & Reggae Festival over the weekend.
Jason Henzell, co-conceptualiser of the event, said all three were hand-picked to make the three-day festival memorable.
“The selection of artistes was easy because Richie Spice is a favourite of Owen Rowe of Lovers Leap. Jesse Royal a favourite of mine, and then we have a strong friendship with Luciano, who did the music video for Lord Give Me Strength â€” a reggae anthem at Jakes many years ago,” he told the Jamaica Observer’s Splash.
The festival starts off today with a ‘Catch-the-sunset’ boat trip to Pelican Bar in St Elizabeth and the night officially kicks off with Richie Spice live in concert at Lovers Leap.
On Saturday, there will be a Reggae Breakfast Buffet at Smurfs. There will also be a YaadMan Gas/Sealand Foods Cook-off at 12 noon, which will feature Little Ochie’s Blackie as well as Jason Henzell.
Following that there will be a Midday Reggae Party between 1:00 and 3:00 pm at Jack Sprat with the latest rum and culinary delights served up to the sound of the sea and a jamming sound system.
In the same breath, there will be a private island lunch hosted by Captain Dennis, which requires a reservation.
The Treasure Beach Bar Crawl 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm will highlight tasty Jamaican rum cocktails at six different community bars, with the highest-scoring bar winning a trophy.
Also on Saturday evening, Jake’s restaurant will host award-winning guest chef Eric Jansen of Cape Cod’s Blackfish serving up a ‘Cape Cod meets Caribbean’ dinner.
The Jesse Royal concert follows at Jack Sprat.
Day three activities take place at Breds Sports Park. It will feature a Festival Village with an assortment of over 25 artisans and vendors, including Middle Quarters pepper shrimp vendors. Cheapside, Comma Pen, Newell, and Tadd Pen are set to have a play-off in two T20 curry goat cricket matches, with a 12 noon Rum Break. To culminate the day, Luciano will be live in concert.
Adding that preparations have been going well, Henzell noted that the festival is aimed at offering a combination of music, art, and other aspects of Jamaican culture to south coast patrons.
“We are seeing the Food Rum & Reggae Festival resonating with patrons, vendors, and sponsors, so we think it has a good chance of becoming an annual event,” he said.
The co-organiser also said the initiative will be putting a spotlight on the industrious farmers in the parish.
“We saw the opportunity to celebrate our hard-working farmers that make St Elizabeth the breadbasket, along with bars, bartenders, restaurants, chefs, and, of course, we are known for reggae music,” he said.
Added Henzell: “We are pleased to have a mixologist working with local bartenders to improve their cocktail offerings and to see award-winning guest chef Eric Jansen from Cape Cod working with local chefs.”