The Trelawny Yam Festival first came into existence on May 23, 1997, as a fund-raising initiative by the Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA) to support its environmental and economic development activities in south Trelawny.
Trelawny Yam Festival, a family festival with a difference
The popularity of Trelawny Yam Festival is attributed to its numerous events and multi-faceted attractions that appeal to a wide cross-section of patrons and sponsors. The Festival is diverse, boasting attractions that depict the culture and lifestyle of yam farmers and the people of the yam growing communities in Trelawny. There are many activities to look forward to on the day of the Trelawny Yam Festival The Yam Farmer's Competition has farmers competing to see who will produce the best quality yams, the heaviest yam, and the most unusually shaped yams, while the Yam Hill Digging Competition tests farmer's skills to see who can dig the best yam hill. The Culinary Competition showcases the endless possibilities of this versatile tuber as professional chefs from major hotels demonstrate their prize winning recipes. Throughout the day and into the evening attendees are entertained with performances from local artists and cultural groups from across the island. The young ones are never left out as there is a play area with lots of interesting and exciting activities (merry-go- round, bounce-about, donkey rides, face painting) to keep them busy. Patrons can also view a wide range of educational exhibits on protecting the environment, Cockpit Country, yam cultivation techniques and yam by-products. And no Yam Festival would be complete without the Best Dressed Donkey & Best Dressed Goat Competitions. Along with the main Festival activities vendors are on hand offering traditional delights such as puddings, coconut drops, grater cakes, the ever popular roast yam & saltfish, mackerel rundown, mannish water, cow cod soup, jerk pork, chicken and much more. The Trelawny Yam Festival is becoming more exciting and entertaining each year. There is much to see, things to learn and people to meet - chances are you might just run into friends or relatives you have not seen in ages. The residents of Trelawny always look forward to all the visitors, both local and overseas, who head for the Parish each Easter Monday.
The New Vision
As the number of patrons increase with each year STEA is restructuring Trelawny Yam Festival to facilitate the expansion of the event to accommodate patrons in comfort and with appropriate services. The Festival will facilitate heightened community participation and expose the immense diversity of local communities and boast attractions that will continue to appeal to Jamaicans and visitors alike. The unique ecological features of Cockpit Country and it potential as an eco-attraction will come alive during the celebration. The increased participation of residents of the 33 small villages in south Trelawny interfacing with visitors from across the island and over seas promises to heighten the level of excitement and entertainment for all.