Top shelf, award-winning rums at the 2020 J’ca Rum Festival
Wednesday’s launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival 2020 – presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund – could’ve easily been passed off as the main event.
Yet, it was merely a prelude to the 8500-plus turnout expected for the second staging between February 29 and March 1.
Guests, connoisseurs, rum producers, stakeholders and several government officials gathered on the East Lawns, Devon House for the official kickstarter.
Loop Lens: Jamaica Rum Festival 2020 launch
Many stayed for the rum relations, others for updates and intentions of the second annual festival.
Since the well-attended inaugural event, the Ministry of Tourism, through its agency the Tourism Enhancement Fund, has recorded several milestones.
The tourism ministry has listed last year’s staging among significant milestones for the body for the year.
JWN Marketing Director Marsha Lumley believes this is due to the successes of the Jamaican rum industry. “The local rum industry is very much intertwined in our culture, economy and touches virtually every aspect of Jamaican life.”
She ascribed the two foremost features of our rum heritage to its integrity and quality.
Stating that “our rums are a true representation of Jamaican excellence and a strong economic driver. We have traditionally been regarded for sun, sand, sea, our athletes, our food, and our music. Through the rum festival, we are positioning Jamaica as a destination where you can enjoy the finest rums the world has to offer.”
Jamaica has a growing rum distillery industry as well.
Currently, there are over six rum distilleries in operation islandwide. Two of which – Hampden Estate and Appleton Estate – were listed among the best in the Caribbean for USA Today’s 10Best.
The premiere rum appreciation event must, therefore, include a collaborative effort from said entities.
The festival will see the support of the 88-year-old Spirits Pool Association, Hampden Estate, National Rums of Jamaica and Worthy Park Estate in addition to presenting sponsors Appleton Estate.
This underscores the unique characteristics of Jamaican rums and the varying standards of production that has helped shape and refine the manufacturing process.
Mark your calendars February 29 to March 1 at Hope Gardens for year two of the Jamaica Rum Festival.
Festival directors are expecting an estimated 8,500 persons over the two-day event.
Festival director Valon Thorpe is thrilled to have another go-round. He urged patrons to prepare for a journey of the senses via the Rum Festival Entry Tunnel.
An entertainment package directed by legendary songwriter and producer Mikie Bennett, a 360 ̊ bar, a dance class, DJ and mixology competition, an artisan village and a spread of local artisans and food establishments are top incentives.
Rum edutainment packages, culinary personalities on the show, and two seminar houses “to satisfy the diverse interest of our patrons”, are a few others.
Several rum aficionados including Appleton Estate blenders Joy Spence and David Morrison are expected to conduct said seminars.
And, of course, in the spirit of Jamaican entertainment, performances are to include Dance Xpressionz, Ky-Mani Marley, Ding Dong alongside the Ravers Clavers, Mortimer, Baby Cham, Cocoa Tea, Freddie McGregor, Indie Allen, Capleton, and Protoje.
Thorpe’s address ended positively with “the Jamaica Rum Festival is an opportunity for us to unite and build community as we continue to position Jamaica as a diverse lifestyle tourism destination”.
The 2020 Jamaica Rum Festival is shaping up to be an international ode to rum. It is presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and is sponsored by a host of industry staples.
We reckon you relinquish the designated driver title and call a cab!