The festival is Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28 at the historic Louisville Water Tower and features ten live bands, Jamaican and Caribbean food and a Caribbean market.
â€œWe have vendors come in from all across the country selling jewelry, clothing, purses, drums.â€¦ Itâ€™s just amazing,â€ said Jennifer Washle from Bisig Impact Group, the association hosting the festival. â€œItâ€™s a very personal feel while youâ€™re walking through the market. Itâ€™s a lot more intimate than other festivals.â€
Multiple vendors will sell Jamaican and Caribbean cuisine throughout the weekend. The authentic menu features dishes such as Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat, Fried Plantains and Beef Patties. The Jamaican Association of Louisville will be among the vendors, who come from all over the country.
â€œThese are people that live throughout Kentuckiana baking, making this food in their homes and bring it out to prepare it the rest of the way. Itâ€™s a true testimony and accomplishment for them. Even the people who donâ€™t particularly care for Jamaican food will find something they will enjoy,â€ Washle explained.
Of course the food and shopping arenâ€™t the only attractions. The ten Reggae Fest bands also help kick off what is known as the 2012 Louisville Water Tower Music Series. Among the highlights: Dem Reggae Bon opens the musical portion of this jam-packed weekend, followed by Lazo & the Radikals on Saturday. Kyene Drum Ensemble and the St. X Jungle Drummers will be performing throughout the rest of the festival.
â€œItâ€™s not like you can get in the car one weekend and go to another reggae festival,â€ said Washle. â€œWe have people who come in from Nashville and parts of Ohio particularly every year to attend this festival.â€
The event runs 2 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and continues from 1 to 7 p.m. on Monday. Attendance is $7 before 6 p.m. and $10 after; children 10 and under get in free. Parking is free and available on the premises.
If you plan on attending the fun, remember construction is still happening on I-71. Zorn Avenue or River Road are the two recommended routes to take to avoid traffic.
For more information, a complete schedule of performances, a complete event calendar and a menu of food that will be available, visit www.KentuckyReggaeFestival.com or call the Bisig Impact Group at 502.583.0333.