Calabash International Literary Festival, Treasure Beach (South Coast). For literary enthusiasts, this annual event features 30 authors and musicians from across the world who will read or perform. The free festival is a mixture of new and established writers who participate. For more information and exact dates search

StyleWeek Jamaica & Fashion Block, Kingston. A 3-day extravaganza, this event on the streets of New Kingston showcases not only Jamaican designers, but the work of designers from both the United States and Europe. Fashionistas attend cocktail receptions, seminars, and runway shows. May 28 to 31.


Kingston on the Edge Urban Art Festival (KOTE), Kingston. Modern artists show their works in this inclusive festival that invites both traditional and avant-garde painters. The KOTE is a cultural affair, with plays, concerts, multimedia shows, an art auction, and other events. June 18 to 26.

Caribbean Fashion Week, Kingston. This event for fashion-savvy individuals is an extravagant affair held for the most part at the National Indoor Sports Centre, plus other locations. Caribbean and international designers participate as do supermodels and various celebrities. June 9 to 14.

Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. International performers play alongside Jamaican jazz artists; other events include barbecues. tel. 866/649-2137 in the U.S., or 876/927-3544. Second week in June.


Little Ochi Seafood Carnival, Alligator Pond (South Coast). Visitors are invited to sample a range of culinary delights from the sea, including peppered shrimp and escoveitched fish. Top local reggae musicians and “vintage artistes” provide nonstop entertainment. July 11.

National Dance Theatre Company’s Season of Dance, Kingston. Traditional and modern dance, as well as notable singers. tel. 876/926-6129. July through August.

Reggae Sumfest, Catherine Hall, Montego Bay. Annual 5-day music festival. tel. 876/953-2933. Late July.


The Absolute Temptation Isle, Negril. Summer sizzles here at this event that features about a dozen bigtime parties spread across the resort area. Participating businesses include everyone from Risky Business to Hedonism II. August 5 to 8.

Red Stripe Dream Weekend, Negril. Party lovers flock to this weekend of events that coincides with Independence weekend celebrations across the island. Food, drink, reggae, and much more fill the night. August 5 to 8.

The National Independence Float Parade and Grand Gala, Kingston. This is one of the most significant celebratory events on the Jamaican cultural calendar. The celebrations take place on the streets of Kingston, which fill with colorful floats, costumed groups, music trucks, classic cars, and marching bands. For more details, search August 6.


Falmouth Blue Marlin Tournament, Montego Bay. A big deal locally. tel. 876/927-0145. Late September.


Port Antonio International Fishing Tournament. One of the oldest and most prestigious sportfishing events in the Caribbean, with participants from Europe and North America. tel. 876/927-0145. Mid-October.


Motor Sports Championship Series, Dover Raceway, St. Ann. Prestigious championship event. tel. 876/960-3860. Early December.