For those planning a vacation this fall or winter, the island of Jamaica is an exciting escape filled with diverse events and festivals. Pulsating with reggae music and live entertainment, Jamaica’s festivals offer travelers insight into the island’s culture, music, sports, and culinary scene.
“Jamaica has a yearlong calendar of events,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook. “These events give visitors the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of home, all while enjoying Jamaica’s culture and flavor.”
Jamaica Bridal Expo, September 20-21 – Montego Bay
The Jamaica Bridal Expo allows visitors, along with their entire bridal party, to meet the best Jamaican wedding vendors from food and flowers to bridal gowns and formalwear as well as rings and registries to limousines and honeymoons. Brides-to-be can sample wedding cakes, listen to music, meet photographers, and gain hundreds of wedding ideas and tips face-to-face from over 80 exhibitors. In addition, top bridal salons in Jamaica showcase the best wedding gowns from top couture designers in a New York style runway show. This year, the Jamaica Bridal Expo is sponsored by Brides Magazine. www.jamaicabridalexpo.com
Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament, September 27 – October 4 – Port Antonio
For five decades, the Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament has attracted anglers competing to see who can catch the biggest blue marlin in late fall. The precise date varies according to the moon, to appease superstitious sea captains. In addition to the fishing competition, a canoe race and many parties and receptions keep the action going for non-fishermen. www.offshoreworldchampionship.com
Reggae Wine Festival, October 18 – Montego Bay
The Jamaica Reggae Wine Festival is the first of its kind to be held in the Caribbean. Jamaican wine purveyors showcase worldwide vintage wines to both locals and visitors. This event incorporates Jamaican branded?, music, wine, and fashion and is held in an environment that showcases the beautiful landscape of the island to the wider tourist market. www.jirwf.com
Annie’s Revenge, October 29 – November 2 – Montego Bay
The White Witch and Cinnamon Hill fairways will welcome the return of the 9th annual Jamaica Invitational Pro-Am “Annie’s Revenge.” Jamaica’s largest international Pro-Am, sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, has quickly become one of golf’s most popular winter tournaments with teams consisting of players from the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. Packages are available through IBEROSTAR Grand Rose Hall resort in Montego Bay, offering participants a five-day, luxury all-inclusive experience. www.jamaicaproam.com
Restaurant Week Jamaica, November – Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios
Restaurant Week Jamaica is a week-long event for visitors and locals alike to experience and sample the diverse culinary options Jamaica has to offer. Over 75 of Jamaica’s best restaurants in Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios will offer specially selected three-course, fixed price dinner menus and lunch time specials at prices up to 50% less.
Reggae Marathon, December 5-7 – Negril
Reggae Marathon, now in its 14th year, is Jamaica’s premiere international marathon event. Marathoners, sports enthusiasts as well as beginners converge in Negril, Jamaica’s capital of casual, for a fun event characterized by pulsating reggae music, keeping participants in an “irie” spirit. A highlight of the three day event is the “World’s Pasta Party” taking place the night before the race day at the Swept Away Sports Complex. The post-race Beach Bash is also not to be missed. www.reggaemarathon.com
In addition, Jamaica is currently offering the Fall in Jamaica Destination-wide Promotion with savings of up to 50 percent when booking through www.getallrightjamaica.com and using the promo code: FALL DEALS. Over 30 hotels ranging from small intimate hotels to large all-inclusive resorts, plus attractions and restaurants are participating in the island-wide deal. Travelers can select a personalized vacation that fits their lifestyle, interest and budget. The promotion is available for booking now through December 1, 2014, for travel until December 15, 2014.
Jamaica Tourist Board, www.visitjamaica.com