Saturday, August 11, 4 p.m.
District of Rock Island IL
In 1992, the District of Rock Island hosted its very first outdoor festival with the debut of its Caribbean-themed celebration Ya Maka My Weekend. Twenty-six years later, the District's longest-running annual tradition will continue with the 2018 Ya Maka My Weekend on August 11, an event boasting a marketplace, arts and crafts vendors, ehtnic food of all flavors, and concert sets by four sizzling ensembles of musicians.
In Ya Maka My Weekend's open-air marketplace, District visitors can find unique items including tie-dyed clothing, sarongs, cowry shell and hand-crafted jewelry, incense and oils, glow necklaces, Caribbean flags, wood carvings, drums, African wares, and sunglasses. Official Ya Maka My Weekend T-shirts and the specially blended “Yamaican” Jerk Seasoning will also be sold, with the festival's Caribbean food options combining the tastes of African, French, Indian, and Spanish cuisines. Rock Island's District will also house the annual “Ya Maka Beach,” in which guests can enjoy cold refreshments while building sand castles in a makeshift beachfront complete with palm trees.
Meanwhile, a quartet of gifted and exciting reggae acts will fill the District with the sounds of the Caribbean. Taking the outdoor stage at 4 p.m., Rude Punch is an alternative reggae band hailing from Davenport and composed of Brady Jager on lead vocals and guitar, Adam Tucker on drums, Jack Hill on bass, and Colton Menke on lead guitar. Formed in 2007, the band recorded its self-titled album debut that year and subsequently released 2009's Killin' It and 2015's Lovers Rock, and Rude Punch has shared stages with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, and Sublime with Rome. Playing a 5 p.m. Ya Maka My Weekend set, Irie Trinity hails from St. Louis, Missouri, and finds its three-woman ensemble of Fran Taylor, Shea Alise, and Dez Irie, as their Facebook biography states, “spreading Irie vibes inna reggae style and fashion.”
At 7:30 p.m., Ya Maka My Weekend attendees will enjoy the Caribbean rock and pop of Tropixplosion, a Chicago-based ensemble of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists that makes nationwide tour stops with as few as two and as many as nine traveling musicians. And wrapping up the 2018 Ya Maka My Weekend festivities is a 10 p.m. set with the Chicago-based reggae artists of IDINKA, whose quintet of Courtney Panton, U-Roy Muslar, Mervyn Belisle, Kelsey Tarver, and Gerald “Toto” Alfred have received the esteemed Martin Intercultural Music Award three years in a row.
Admission to Ya Maka My Weekend is $9, the gates to the August 11 event open at 4 p.m., and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)948-2008 or visiting DowntownRockIsland.org/events/ya-maka-my-weekend.