More music, food, dance, celebrity guests and vendors are promised for the return of the Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival after last year’s sold-out inaugural event. On Saturday, January 20, Central City BBQ will host the event, which touts itself as “a funky fusion of Jamaican musical and culinary traditions with the rich culture of New Orleans Carnival.”
Big Freedia, DJ Raj Smoove, Robin Barnes, Chef Dominique and Chef Frank Brigtsen will be this year’s special guests. Musical performances will be provided by Teki, TBC Brass Band, Ammoye, OG Blake Owens, Game Ova Skip, Jam-X Reggae Band, One Love Brass Band, DJ Megatron and DJ T-Roy.
Presented by Power 102.9 FM and NOLA Brewing Co., the Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival celebrates the relationship between Jamaican and New Orleans cultures and provides a rare opportunity to hear reggae, brass and bounce all in the same indoor/outdoor venue. Jerk chicken, ya-ka-mein and gumbo are all staples on the food menu, while handmade crafts from the Caribbean and the Crescent City are made available by artisans.
Festival organizers are promising “a slew of top restaurants” serving up renditions of Caribbean and New Orleans cuisine, plus “celebrity guest judges” on hand for the only Scotch Bonnet pepper eating contest in town. Boswell’s, Island Paradise, Johnny’s Jamaican Grill, Karibu Kitchen, Yak-a-mein Lady and more are confirmed restaurants.
The 2018 Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival takes place at Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St.) on Saturday, January 20 from 1-10p.m. Entry is $10 before 3 p.m. and is cash only but advance tickets are available here. Children are $5. For additional information, updates and offers, visit Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival’s official website.