Killington Resort to host first annual Vermont jerk and reggae festival

KILLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, is pleased to host the first annual Vermont JerkFest & Reggae Festival during summer 2015.

Celebrating all things spicy and jerk hot, this family-friendly, Caribbean-style foodie festival, features local Jamaican jerk spiced food and entertainment for the whole family. At this 2-day event, festival goers can expect two days of spicy fun in the sun, which will begin at the Rum & Brew Tasting @ Vermont JerkFest, held Friday night, 6:30pm-10pm. The spicy festivities continue with the Jerk Food and Reggae Festival on Saturday, 12pm-7pm, at the jerk food and reggae portion of the festival.  Following the Vermont JerkFest, festival attendees will fill the bars and restaurants of the Killington Access Road for the Killington Jerk Jam after-parties, which will be hosted by local businesses.

Vermont JerkFest & Reggae Festival is held in collaboration with the Town of Killington, Vermont and Killington Resort. The festival will highlight Jamaican jerk food, spicy food, and Caribbean-themed libations from local and New England regional chefs and food producers.  Jerk is the specialty cuisine of Jamaica that it not only mouth-burning hot, but also includes delicious blends of aromatic spices to wake up all your senses.

“Killington Resort is committed to bringing new energy to the area during the summer months, so hosting the first ever Vermont JerkFest was a no brainer,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort. “With live music, local food, a festival atmosphere and a focus on sustainability, this event is a perfect fit in Killington.”

An important component for the Vermont JerkFest is highlighting and promoting local agriculture and local food. Vendors will be encouraged to source locally, and this is a zero waste event to minimize the environmental impact. The Vermont JerkFest is produced by The Williams Agency in collaboration with Jamaica Awareness whose team also organizes some of the top food, ethnic, and local food festivals in the country, including NY, Boston, and South Florida Jerk festivals, Cambridge and Miami Carnivals, Boston Local Food Festival, Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest and Local Craft Brewefest in Boston.

Included in the festivities are:
•  Live music, including an international reggae headline performer and regional musicians.
•  Jerk dishes prepared by local and regional restaurants, food trucks, and street vendors
•  Spice Lane showcasing local specialty products, including hot sauces, desserts, cheeses, etc.
•  Jerk Cook-Off competition and Seafood Throwdown competition featuring local seafood freshly caught from VT lakes
•  Chef Demos featuring jerk and highlighting local food
•  Children’s activity zone with hands-on interactive activities
•  Cultural stage promoting traditional and folkloric traditions of the Caribbean


Rum & Brew Tasting – Friday, July 31, 2015, 6:30pm-10pm – K-1 Base Lodge, Killington Resort
The weekend kicks off with a Rum & Brew Tasting on Friday night and offers a taste of Killington’s best food and drink, with a Caribbean theme. The Rum & Brew Tasting session features local craft beer, cider and mead as well as local and international spirits. Local restaurant bartenders will vie for bragging rights and a trophy as they stir up creative Caribbean themed drinks made with their featured product. Local musicians will warm up the crowds as they prepare for a spicy weekend.

Food Festival – Saturday, August 1, 2015, 12pm – 7pm – K-1 Base Lodge, Killington Resort
The spicy festivities continue with an all day festival full of spicy food, live music, and fun. More than 50 local and regional vendors will offer a variety ofjerk hot, spicy, and mild food offerings for sale, as well as Caribbean themed craft products. Local and international musicians will jam with the crowds to the cool backdrop of the mountains.

Killington Jerk Jam – Saturday, August 1, 2015, 7pm – Killington Access Road
Festival attendees will transcend upon downtown Killington to explore the after party night scene, featuring international reggae bands. Festivities include post-event tasting dinners, live music, concerts, and special promotions.

Vendor and sponsor opportunities are available. Festival organizers are seeking local and regional vendors for the food court and Spice Lane as well as participation in our Caribbean themed Arts and Crafts area. Food festival tickets range from $5-$25 and are free for children under 10. The Rum & Brew Tasting tickets are $50 and $100 for VIP Admission. For tickets and information, please visit Facebook, vermontjerkfest; Twitter: @vermontjerkfest; Instagram @vermontjerkfest

Evan Johnson

Evan Johnson is the staff writer for Vermont Sports Magazine. The native Vermonter enjoys steep and deep skiing and wandering all over the state by Subaru. Find him on Twitter at @evanisathome.