#117 Jerk Festival 2019

Jerk Festival

Having recently returned from vacation on the beautiful island of Jamaica if you asked me what I miss most I would have to say the beautiful beaches, the friendly smiles, and the incredible live music. However, if you asked my stomach it would say the deliciously hot jerk chicken I had daily for lunch. You can imagine my delight when I discovered that there is a yearly Etobicoke festival celebrating jerk chicken right in my back yard at Centennial Park, Jerk Festival!

Jerk Festival 2019, or JerkFest for short, takes place Friday August 9th to Sunday August 11th at Centennial Park and it is the perfect event for August as it takes place the following weekend after Caribbean Carnival. So visitors and family members who are staying a bit longer may want to continue the festivities and come to JerkFest. This is the 18th anniversary for the Jerk Festival and each year the attendance, as well as the entertainment value, keeps rising! Ticket prices vary but you can save money by purchasing in advance.

For jerk lovers, or food lovers in general, the Jerk Festival will offer up so many delicious dishes that you’ll wish you had room to sample it all. Chicken, pork, beef, lamb, seafood, vegetables. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. For those talented cooks who think their jerk chicken can compete with the very best out there, you may want to enter the “so you think you can jerk” competition. Enter today by visiting the website!

There is also a VIP Garden where patrons can enjoy all you can eat jerk burgers, chicken drumsticks, and non-alcoholic drinks. You can also interact with the artists who will be conducting a meet and greet. See website for ticket prices.

As for entertainment, JerkFest has events occurring non-stop over the weekend. Reggae artists, soca singers, reggae bands, drummers, jerk chicken eating competition, cooking competition, and lots more! The Kidz Zone remains a major attraction for families, especially the children. These young ones enjoy the face painting, balloon characters, inflatable rides, rock climbing, midway rides and so much more. You will want to stay the entire weekend!

So if you’re in Toronto on the August 9th weekend be sure to visit Centennial Park in Etobicoke for the Annual Jerk Festival. Your stomach will thank you.


Jerk Festival: Where and When in Etobicoke…

WHERE: 256 Centennial Park Road Etobicoke, ON M9C 5N3
WHEN: Friday August 9 2019 5pm – 10pm, Saturday August 10, 2019 11am – 10pm, Sunday August 12, 2019 11am – 10pm
WEBSITE: www.jerkfestival.ca

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    • Hi Tarra,

      Thanks for letting us know. I know based on the level of entertainment and the atmosphere that many will still find value but that it will be tough for others. Having talked to the organizers last year it’s quite difficult putting together an event of this magnitude. But we hear you.

      We’re still going as we love the overall vibe, the music, and of course the food. But we will purchase are tickets beforehand.


    • Pretty sure the answer is no as it is typical of this type of festival. Now we do have a call into the organizers but haven’t received an answer as of yet.


  1. Yes I agree the cost is foolishness $15 like seriously that’s robbery a lot of families can’t afford this. Plus the food at the venue isn’t cheap. You guys need to look into getting a lot more sponsors cause people are going to stop supporting this event

  2. My friends, family and I have decided that last year was our last time at Jerkfest. There are quite a few other free festivals happening around Town. Part of the summer fun is being able to support events without going broke. You pay $15 per person then you go in and have to buy food. Taste of the Danforth is where I am heading as it is more economical. Thanks, but no thanks. This is ridiculous!.

  3. $10 for ONE bake and ackee!!. $12 for jerk pork alone …no rice and bean or ?? $8. for a smoothy drink. $4 for ONE roasted corn.No live music… NEVER ever going back!!
    Rip off ALL THE WAY….

  4. I cannot believe the steep incline on entry. I could understand 5 dollar entry or even the 7 dollars is a stretch and not offered at the door, only online….but 15 dollars?! You need to give a free meal with that ticket because ain’t nobody gonna pay 15 to get in and another 15 for food. I won’t ever go back because of this. Even my family friends who help some of the jerk vendors were required to pay, when they are even helping out the people cooking. What a disgrace. Somebody definitely got greedy and jacked the ticket price up.

  5. The price is my biggest turn off. Last year I too my family of five we could hardly afford food after paying the entrance price.

    I bought two jerk meals at $11.00 and share amongst us. The food was really terrible, especially the rice. Some of these ppl cannot cook.

    I think Carribbea people believe high price is a solution to wealth especially we Jamaica.

    I will not attend another when i can go to a taste of the Danforth for free and buy something g to eat for 5 or 6 $.

    The organization should take a look at the taste of the Danforth and copy some of the things from them that makes it successfull

  6. Disgusted with what they were charging am quite sure the food vendors are not making what they normally would make if entry was just a donation. And where does all that money go.

  7. More over we got there at 9.45pm and they wanted to still charge 19.00 to get in and the event was closing at 10.00 shameful

  8. I stopped going to jerk fest since they jack up the price. You do not know how to run business. Take a piece of lesson from the taste of the danforth. And by the way why dont you promote caribbean artist. Why so many artist on the show? And many good artist in the caribbean just would love the exposure and would be cheaper than these american.

  9. Hello everyone. I agree. The entrance fee is too high. I look forward to this event because its one of the save places a family can go and enjoy themsleves. But lets be real why do you need to raise the price in one big jump. If for the community then keep it that way. What about those who are low income families. Or a big family with visting relatives. Come people let is think of one another. This event should be affordable to all.

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