16 The Courier sun • juLY 21, 2016 for breaking news visit www.qns.com THE COURIER/Photos by Selena Hill Queens is experiencing Jamaican Jerk Festival was a sizzling day of fun at Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica By Brianna Ellis email@example.com/@briinformed As a 98-degree summer day scorched the city on July 17, this Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival was cooking up at Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica! The sixth annual largest Caribbean Food Festival was jam-packed and fun-filled, as hundreds of guests basked in the beauty of Jamaican culture with delicious food, live reggae and soca performances, handmade goods and more. Exciting appearances by Dancehall sensation Dexta Daps, Gyptian, soca superstar Rupee, Reggae Ambassadors Third World and others kept the all-day event flowing with entertainment from noon to 8 p.m. Comedian Pretty Boy Floyd had the crowd rolling on the main stage while cultural presentations unfolded on the Western Union Cultural Stage. The mouth-watering aroma of jerk chicken simmered in the stifling air, as various food vendors served floods of customers their unique jerk chicken, curry chicken, oxtail, roasted corn, natural juices and so much more. Patrons also enjoyed a plethora of jerk dishes at the popular Grace Jerk Cook-Off & Culinary Demonstration, which showcased different ways in which the spicy jerk seasoning can be prepared. The 2016 Grace Jamaican Jerk festivities were sponsored by Grace Foods, Western Union, Continental Bakery, Power 106 and more. Scrumptious Caribbean Food Notable vendors throughout the city came to serve up their best Jamaican dishes. Boston Jerk, Home of the Original Jerk Chicken, Yardies, Mama’s Cooking, Mr. Cee Jerk Center, Caribbean Corns and Benash International LLC were a few of many food and drink vendors at the Jerk Festival. Owner Conrad Martin of Mr. Cee Jerk Center shared his first-time experience of vending at the Jerk Festival. “To be honest, when the show just started and I was out there, I’m like wow, the sun was like 100 degrees. I was like geez,” he told The Courier. “I was worried like seeing nobody coming, I was like geez what’s going to happen? Next thing you know, I couldn’t believe it. The pork is finished, the chicken is finished, the fish is finished.” Pulsating Rhythms & Explosive Dance Moves DANCA® Family, a diverse dancehall group, dazzled viewers with their vigorous dance moves and clever choreography. “I have a love for dance, it comes so natural. It’s not something that’s forced,” Nelly Danca said. “We know each other through dance, so it’s natural. We’re family. We get together all the time and dance everywhere.” Creative Caribbean Goods “It’s an annual family event and it’s kid-friendly for a long time. We don’t have shots, we don’t have known of that stuff so I think it should keep going on,” Jamaican vendor Menelik John of Mystical Entertainment told The Courier. “I get to see all my wonderful Caribbean people mixed up with American and we’re all one unity. It’s a beautiful feeling compared to the picture they try to portray of us as minorities so we are proud.” second-highest job growth in NYC By Candace Higgins firstname.lastname@example.org/@QNS Residents across the “World’s Borough” are finding more work, according to a report released on July 12. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced that Queens experienced a 7.80 percent rise in jobs, following Brooklyn. This was based on recently released job data dating back to December 2015. The analysis was conducted by NYCEDC. “We’re working to fight income inequality one job at a time,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We’ve been targeting investments towards historically undeserved communities, and focusing on both raising wages and creating accessible, middle-class jobs. And the data shows we’re already seeing real results.” A number of programs have been launched to provide jobs in neighborhoods across the city. NYCEDC launched the NYC Industrial Developer Fund to help develop space for industrial jobs, and the mayor launched Futureworks NYC to help grow manufacturing jobs. “People want to move here, raise their families here, make their money here,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said in welcoming the news of the Queens job surge. “These encouraging jobs figures illustrate the growth and momentum underway here in Queens. This is the result of substantial investments and initiatives throughout the borough, many of which were discussed at Monday evening’s joint Borough Board and Cabinet meeting. Our challenge and focus as government is to help build more sustainable infrastructure to facilitate the growth as well as ensure the growth is more equitable across communities.” Citywide, jobs have increased by 7.4 percent since de Blasio took office, according to the NYCEDC press release, reaching an all-time high of nearly 4.3 million jobs. The unemployment rate in New York City is down 5.1 percent. In the first two years of Mayor de Blasio’s administration, all five boroughs have added jobs at a higher rate than in previous years.
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