Friday 12 July 2024
  • La Cimbali

More than 1,000 people attended the inaugural Blue Mountain Festival

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – According to early figures, about 1,100 people attended the first edition of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival from March 23 to 25 at Newcastle in St. Andrew.

The event hosted by the Tourism Linkages Network of the Ministry of Tourism exceeded expectations, as the planning committee only anticipated that 750 persons would attend.

The Head of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald-Riley, noted that the organisers are still awaiting the final count from one of their ticket outlets, so the final figure should increase significantly as all tickets printed were completely sold out.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett remarked that the success of the Blue Mountain Coffee festival could be utilized in the future to attract more visitors to the shore and create more opportunities for Jamaicans to earn.

During his speech on the second day of the festival, Bartlett further noted that “Exhibitions like these are not only going to provide a showcase of coffee beverages but an opportunity for tasting and for the world to recognize in fact that we have the best coffee. It is also an opportunity for us to create a value chain to bring jobs and more economic well-being to a larger number of our Jamaican people.”

During the event, the Minister also used the opportunity to urge coffee processors and entrepreneurs to better utilize coffee to increase the earning potential.

The three-day event began with a special seminar for farmers on March 23, which included business development workshops for coffee industry players. It was hosted by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

The high-point of the gastronomic fare was the Festival Marketplace which featured samplings of coffee in various forms, food demonstrations, business workshops, exhibitors’ booths, live entertainment and a Barista competition, which was won by Lamar Williams of Café Blue.

On the final day of the festival, patrons were encouraged to visit eateries in the Blue Mountains, which were participating entities of the Tourism Ministry’s Culinary Trail. The restaurants and cafés created specialty menus and tours.

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