Articles Comments



By Kevin Jackson—

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Lisa Hanna in the Celebrity Quick Fire Challenge. —

The seventh staging of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival (New York Edition) was once again a big hit. The event, held last Sunday at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, attracted over 10,000 patrons.

The Cultural Stage took patrons on a nostalgic journey to relive popular Jamaican traditions and folklore.

Many patrons, however, converged where former Miss World-cum-politician Lisa Hanna competed against New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio in the Celebrity Quick Fire Challenge.

Hanna, who prepared a meal consisting of pork and boiled breadfruit, was named winner of the cook-off. She spoke to the Jamaica Observer shortly after her win.

“I feel great because it was a lot of preparation. You had to think very quickly because you only had half-hour to get it done. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The mayor is a wonderful man. I couldn’t make him win. I had to come and done him,” she said jokingly.

On the main stage, the entertainment was diverse and patrons relished performances from early acts, including Magnum King of the Dancehall 2015 finalist Sean De Vere, Hood Celebrity, K’Reema and Droop Lion.

Then as the sun began to set, Konshens, Barrington Levy, Alison Hinds and Morgan Heritage worked up a tasty brew, which filled the palates of many.

Konshens on stage @ Jerk Fest

Konshens on stage @ Jerk Fest

Armed with his large catalog, Konshens ran through hits such as Bruck off Yuh Back, Do Sum’n, and Realest Song. The females showed their appreciation with cheers. Several took out their cellphones to capture the moment.

Barrington Levy was also a favorite, especially with the older folks who grooved to She’s MineBlack RosesLiving Dangerously and Broader than Broadway.

The soca vibes were delivered by Alison Hinds as Roll It Gal, Faluma (Ding Ding Ding) and Togetherness had patrons dancing.

Morgan Heritage left patrons wanting more with a professionally executed set. The group performed songs from its latest album, Avrakedabra, as well as favorites such as Don’t Haffie Dread, Nothing to Smile About, and Down By The River.

Barrington Levy

Barrington Levy

Konshens and Droop Lion gave their thoughts about the festival.

“Grace keeping a festival like this in America is a great milestone for a Jamaican brand. I fully endorse that,” said Droop Lion.

“When you look into the crowd, you are seeing mostly Caribbean people and it’s a good vibe. The recipe and the line-up for this festival is good. It’s just pure niceness and I really wanted to be a part of it,” Konshens shared.

Soca Queen Alison Hinds

Soca Queen Alison Hinds

Co-promoter Eddy Edwards reflected on the day’s proceedings.

“We had a wonderful day. The rain held up and the crowd came out. Everyone really had a good time,” he said. “For me, the highlight was seeing the people walking into the park and enjoying themselves. This event has something for everyone. The cultural stage, the chefs on display, the main stage, the kidz zone, and even the showdown between Lisa Hanna and the mayor. That was exciting.”

Eddy Edwards

Eddy Edwards

The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival (New York) was a presentation of VP Records in association with Jamaica Jerk Festival Inc USA.

— Kevin Jackson

Written by

Filed under: BREAKING NEWS, Featured

%d bloggers like this: