Summertime in Jamaica

Four events to head south for this summer 


Jamaica isn’t just a winter escape. There are plenty of festivals and parties to keep visitors busy in the summertime. Here are four events that are worth the trip.

International Reggae Day

Now in its 21st year, this worldwide celebration of reggae music takes place in seven cities around the world. Jamaica’s party is held in Kingston and runs from June 30 to July 4. Expect special performances, digital art exhibits (most are held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel) and the massive JulyOne live concert streamed from Emancipation Park.

June 30 to July 4

Portland Jerk Festival

This popular festival, now in its 15th year, is the largest annual food and jerk festival in Jamaica. From the Heritage Site at Folly Grounds in Port Antonio, local chefs use their own styles and flavours to put a spin on classic jerk dishes. There’s also cooking presentations and family-friendly entertainment like a kids' village with rides and games.

July 5

Reggae Sumfest

Sumfest showcases the best of rock, roots and reggae music by bringing together top Jamaican and international artists for special performances at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. This year’s guests include Jennifer Hudson and Grammy Award-winning rapper Common.

July 12 to 18

SPF Weekend

This weekend-long celebration on Emancipation Weekend in St. Ann is popular with locals and visitors, alike. Expect an epic party with different themed events happening nightly, including Forever Beach: The Midnight Bonfire Beach Party at Dunn's River Falls, which goes until 6 a.m. so revelers can watch the sun rise.

July 31 to August 3