Caribbean cultures sail into Fairview for first ‘Jerk Festival’
2015-08-15 15:50:27 -

By Zaira Starnai


Fairview Park was juiced up by the energy, music and food of the Caribbean on Saturday 8 August with the inaugural Caribbean Jerk Festival. 


Organised by the Jamaican and the wider Caribbean Communities in Ireland (JCCI), the day was hailed as a great success, attracting around 500 people and especially families.


At the ‘Cook Off’ pavilion, visitors could experience the unique tastes of Caribbean cuisine, with its myriad spicy flavours, and even take some home for themselves.


The cultural pavilion featured a traditional dance demonstration, a soccer exhibition and a fashion show, the latter highlighting typical clothes of the Caribbean such as the quadrille dress.


DJs kept the music thumping on the main stage – from reggae to calypso and salsa – to entertain the diverse audience lunching and relaxing in the park.


But it was the ‘Children’s Corner’ that proved to be most popular, with kids introduced to traditional games from Jamaica and Trinidad on a warm but windy Saturday afternoon much more like the climate of Dominica than Dublin.


Festival promoter and organiser Millicent Brown thanked the many volunteers and event partners such as the Dublin City Council Parks Department and Sport Against Racism Ireland (Sari) for helping make the day so successful even on a shoestring budget.


Brown added that she hoped the festival will become an annual fixture celebrating social inclusion, diversity and interculturalism through the various elements of Caribbean culture.


Indeed, a Caribbean sports festival in association with Sari – featuring the likes of cricket and baseball – is being planned to coincide with next year’s event.


Brown said a report on the impact of the festival will be presented to the Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin as a template to encourage the development of cultural, social and economic relations between the Caribbean diaspora and the greater Irish community, and rekindle connections going back to the 17th century.

TAGS : Fairview Park Caribbean Jerk Festival Jamaican and wider Caribbean Communities in Ireland JCCI Sari Dublin City Council Parks Department Sports Against Racism Ireland
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