Sunday, June 28, 2015

First Annual Jerk Festival at Library Park

Two of the things I love best about Waterbury are its summertime ethnic festivals and its diversity of culture and food, so I was delighted to learn that the West Indian Social Club of Greater Waterbury was launching an annual Jerk Festival. I had a busy day, but I made time to swing by the festival for lunch and take a few photos.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, "jerk" is a spicy Caribbean dry-rub barbeque (in simplest terms).

Connecticut has the sixth largest non-Hispanic West Indian population in the U.S., with 87,149 immigrants reported in the 2010 Census.

A 2013 Census report estimates that Waterbury has 3,304 non-Hispanic immigrants from the West Indies, with 2,185 of those people coming from Jamaica.

The festival included food trucks and food tents, with barbeques grilling up a variety of good food.

Southern Bell Soul Food & Catering Truck:
not quite as far south as the West Indies, but still delicious.

Turkey Hut food truck: jerk turkey sandwiches, fried fish, popcorn chicken, and more.

Jerk chicken on the grill at Bertie's tent. If you missed the festival, you can still get Caribbean food any time at Bertie's West Indian & American Restaurant on North Main Street.

Jamaican jerk pork, jerk chicken, curry chicken, stew chicken, and rice & peas.

Magic show for the kids.

When the DJ took the stage, everyone started dancing. Live bands performed too.

South End Cheerleaders dancing to the Cha Cha Slide.

In addition to food and music, there were vendors with a variety of clothing, jewelry, CDs, and other items.

There was light rain pretty much all day, but it stayed fairly dry under the trees.

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