The Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival presents a day of reggae, bounce and brass band music and plenty of jerk chicken on Feb. 9 at Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St.).
The festival celebrates cultural connections between the Caribbean and New Orleans. The entertainment lineup features 20 musical acts on two stages, including Rayvon, Robin Barnes, DJ Raj Smoove, the Yard Squad Band and there's a second line with Mardi Gras Indians.
Food vendors serve variations on jerk chicken and other Caribbean dishes. Vendors include Boswell’s Jamaican Grill, Trinidadian restaurant Island Paradise Bar & Grill, Queen Trini Lisa, Ms. Linda Green, aka the Yakamein Lady, 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant, Karibu Kitchen and NOLA Soul Pie, among others.
There also is a Scotch bonnet pepper-eating contest and a jerk chicken cook-off.
In 2017, the estate of late reggae singer Bob Marley sent festival organizers a cease and desist letter about the use of his name, and the event was changed to the NOLA Jerk Chicken Festival. According to a release from the festival’s organizers, the legal dispute has been resolved, and the festival reverted to its original name.
The festival is 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. Tickets are available for $20 before 3 p.m. on the day of the event. They're $25 afterward. Children’s tickets are $5. VIP tickets are $70 and include access to a VIP lounge with an open bar, catering, bathrooms and front row access to entertainment.
For information and to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s website here.