The vibes of Kingston came to Philadelphia Sunday at the 28th Annual Caribbean Festival this weekend.
The scent of jerked chicken wafted in the air blocks away.
“We’re representing our island. We bring a little piece of Trinidad to Philadelphia,” said Terry Banks, a native of Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Philly.
Visitors were able to buy flags, fabrics and clothing with Caribbean design, enjoy flavors of the Caribbean’s unique cuisine, and enjoy music — including that of the Philadelphia Pan Stars, a steel drum orchestra whose style combines elements of soka and calypso music.
Dulett Wright, owner of Jamaican Wings, the food truck and catering service, had a line of 50 people waiting for her jerked chicken. See below for her custom jerk chicken recipe).
The Caribbean festival raises funds for educational scholarships for Caribbean students studying in the U.S., said organizer Barbara Wilson, a native of Kingston, Jamaica. They’ve awarded more than 150 scholarships in the festival’s history.
“It’s a lot of good food, music and mingling,” Wilson said, “but the goal is the scholarships.”
This year’s festival was also special because it fell on the 127th anniversary of Marcus Garvey’s birth.
“His message is still relevant. He distilled it down to ‘One God, one aim, one destiny,'” said Leandre Jackson, a board member of the Marcus Garvey Memorial Foundation.
“But it also meant, we have to be responsible for our own dignity, our own uplift, our own education, we can’t rely on somebody else. … That message will never get old,” Jackson said.
The foundation, founded in 1960 by several members who personally knew Garvey, collects books to be donated to thelibrary in St. Ann’s Bay, where Garvey was born.
Wilbur Frazier, 86, whose wife is Jamaican, said he has attended the festival every year since the first one, which was held at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park.
“It’s gotten bigger,” he said, who noted that there used to be safety problems with people smoking marijuana. But there has never a violent incident, “except one year, and that was a crowd from New York,” he said.
Dulett’s jerk chicken recipe
Marinate your chicken overnight in a mix of salt, pepper, garlic, seasoning pepper and Walkerswood jerk sauce.
As you cut up the chicken before grilling, apply Dulett’s sauce: a little pineapple juice, a little honey, pepper, onions, thyme, a little bit of beer, cayenne pepper, browning and Walkerswood jerk sauce.