Jamaica's Original Food Festival
Recipient of the 2006 Tourism Achievement Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture
Come Easter Monday all roads lead to the cool hills of Trelawny for the annual Trelawny Yam Festival. The purpose of the Trelawny Yam Festival is to provide an event which celebrates the rich culture and heritage of Trelawny and of Cockpit Country, an integral part of which is the cultivation of yams. The goals of the Festival are:
- To promote the consumption of yam and encourage the development of value added by-products to develop the local economy
- To promote the culture and heritage of Trelawny
- To provide the opportunity for investment and the development of alternative business activity
- To promote south Trelawny and Cockpit Country as a destination for community and eco-tourism.
As the culmination of a month of events promoting Trelawny, the aim of Grand Yam Festival Day is to showcase the overall community of Trelawny and its environs, focusing on the production of yam, yam by-products and the internationally acclaimed bio-diverse wilderness of Cockpit Country. The major activities planned for Grand Yam Festival Day include the following:
Community Showcase: Cockpit Country communities are targeted to conceptualize a booth showcasing their community. With assistance from the Yam Festival planning committee, communities determine the unique culture, products, heritage and talents of their community and display themselves to Festival patrons.
Culinary Competition: The Culinary Competition showcases the wide array of food items that can be made from the yam. The dishes entered into the competition range from traditional Jamaican dishes to contemporary foreign foods with a yam twist. Local residents, schools and major hotels face off in separate competitions. Dishes are sampled by judges to determine winners. Festival patrons have the opportunity to sample all dishes and vote in the Taster's Choice category.
Cultural Performances: Cultural Groups from across the island are invited to perform on the main stage. A wide cross-section of performance types are used to give visitors an accurate representation of the diversity of Jamaican culture. Winners from the Schools Song, Poetry & Dance Competition are also be invited to perform at the Festival.
Yam By-products Display: Local producers of yam by-products are employed by Festival organizers to develop yam by-products to be sampled and sold at the Festival. Proper packaging, labeling and marketing strategies are developed by Festival organizers to ensure high quality product offerings. This attraction provides visitors with an opportunity to take a piece of local Jamaican culture home with them.
Yam Market: Local farmer's groups are invited to develop a yam market to provide local, fresh yam for sale to Festival patrons.
Evening Stage Show: Select nationally and internationally recognized performing artists perform at an evening stage show. The stage show attempts to capture Jamaican culture and the current state of Jamaican music and acts as a Festival highlight to cap off the day's activities.