KNOXVILLE, TN, (June 2020) – Sheliya Israel of Festivals for Charity, Inc. had planned the organization’s first event, The Knoxville Caribbean Jerk Festival on the World’s Fair Site in downtown Knoxville for May 2020.
Israel had done the work. Featured entertainment was to be a popular band from the 1970s, “Third World.” She partnered with Hot 104.5 radio, Target, Sweetopia, Chick-fil-A, a couple of banks, and others. The event was to include a jerk and a chili contest, tournaments for spades and dominoes, and a kids zone.
Israel was could hardly wait for the big day scheduled near Memorial Day 2020. Until the coronavirus pandemic showed up changing priorities not only in Knoxville but around the world. The shift of concerns of much greater importance prevailed.
Isreal did the next best thing she could think of to rise to the occasion. She used the resources she had accumulated to honor medical workers, veterans, and 2020 graduates with gift bags that now included a roll of toilet paper; a much sought after commodity.
On a recent Saturday at Harvest Plaza in East Knoxville, Israel and volunteers handed out gift bags containing gift cards from Chik-fil-A and Maple Street Biscuits, samples of Cotton Tail Soaps and treats from Sweetopia Handmade Chocolates and Cakes and more.
The Caribbean Jerk Festival has been postponed to May 30, 2021. Isreal sees this as an opportunity to make it bigger and better. Interested vendors and sponsors can email email@example.com; or call 865-407-6615 (corrected).
Pictures from the Caribbean Jerk Fest give-away. (Photo credit Patricia Williams)