• Lucie

Just Touched Down in London Town: UK Jamaica Fair 2020

On February 29, 2020 before quarantine hit Jamaica, I had the pleasure of attending the UK Jamaica Fair which was held at King's House. The fair is hosted by the British High Commission annually, as a way to bridge the gap between Jamaica and the UK with consumers, business owners, and industry leaders. This is the third year of the fair and it was both fun and informative.

The fair had a certain amount of tickets available so I had to register weeks before the tickets were sold out. There is no charge or fee to attend the fair, the only requirement is to show your ticket upon entry. Everything about the event was so organized. Driving into the parking lot at King's House we were directed to parking and then directed to a line to take the shuttle bus to the other side of the property, where the actual event was being held. Before entering the shuttle bus we showed our tickets and were given an event band on our wrists. Once everyone was seated we were off to "London". It's funny how Britain is known for its unpredictable weather and lots of rain because it was raining all day. It was a good thing I had my umbrella!

When we arrived at the bus stop to enter the event, we were greeted by a staff member who handed us a coupon to national bakery to get free spiced bun. (more free things!) Continuing through what appeared to be a photo tunnel, we saw various photo opportunities on both the left and the right side; from the Spice Girls to the dining hall at Hogwarts.

After going through the photo booths we officially entered the event. Walking around we observed various kinds of booths including the main tent which was where the main stage was and where all the performances happened. They had Jamaican dancers who were teaching the audience Jamaican dances, fashion shows, and other musical acts. My favorite performance was from the Scottish band.

There were other tents where they had virtual reality games, information on how to get a UK visa, information on how to apply to school in the UK and how to pay for it, various cars on display for car enthusiasts, various food tents such as Island Grill, Bad Dawgs and other Jamaican and UK treats. Did I mention that the food was free too? I discovered this when I got hungry and joined the line to purchase a hot dog at Bad Dawg's. When I finally got to the front, I placed my order and asked the price of the hot dog, and the attendant said "Miss, the food at the event is free". Imagine my surprise! So when I found that out, I made sure to try every food that was represented at the event. I also loved that they had water bins all over the event. It was a very hot day even though it was raining, and it was good to just go up to a water bin and grab a cold bottle of water.

I didn't get to play any of the virtual reality games but I did watch a football match in one of the tents. Each person was given a set of earphones so we could control our own volumes whiles watching the match. As you can imagine, mostly males were in that tent watching the game, while waiting on their wife's or girlfriends.

There were also some fashion figures on stilts walking around the event. It almost looked like a fashion procession and their attire were really interesting, and they wore masks. All the kids wanted to take pictures with them because of their unusual style.

My friends and I were at the fair for a couple hours before heading off to the Jamaica Rum Festival (I will talk about that in my next post). All in all I had fun at the fair. It's an event that is fun for the entire family as there is something for everyone. Besides the Scottish band my next favorite thing were the photo booths. I took pictures at every single one of them! I can't wait for next year to see what they have in store for patrons.

Have you ever been to the UK Jamaica Fair? If so, what did you like most about it? Let me know in the comments below.

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