How to Plan a Jamaican Themed Party

Jamaica has been a favorite getaway for decades. You may not be able to go there, but you definitely can throw a Jamaican themed party to bring some of the fun and sun to your friends! Best of all, putting it together is easier than you think.

Select music to match a Jamaican theme. An obvious choice is reggae, the most popular music to come from that island country. Younger partiers might be more partial to ska, with its fusion of calypso and American-style jazz. It's hard to go wrong with the music of Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru setting the mood.

Choose the food you will serve. While the popular curried goat may be a bit too exotic for your guests' tastes, other favorites like jerk chicken (a spicy dish with scotch bonnet peppers and allspice) or callaloo (spinach with garlic, crab meat and okra) will delight your guests and have them asking for more.

Stock the bar! Tee-totalers can enjoy a drink called "Jamaica," which is made from hibiscus blossoms steeped in sugar water and ginger. Ginger beer is another classic non-alcoholic choice. Those who crave something stronger will be happy with a rum cocktail or Jamaica's beloved Red Stripe beer.

Decorate your place with Jamaican flags or with the colors of the flag: green, yellow and black. Ask a travel agent if he or she has any old posters of Jamaica's lush beaches. Websites might have Jamaican memorabilia that would be a perfect accent for your decor.

Hold a limbo contest! Start the fun with two people holding the pole at shoulder height, then gradually lower the pole as your friends try to get under it. Be sure to have a prize for the winner, like a set of dominoes. Dominoes is extremely popular in Jamaica.


Ginger beer is not the same as ginger ale. Ginger beer has a pronounced ginger taste that can clear out your sinuses if you are not careful! Scotch bonnet peppers are some of the hottest in the world. If you decide to spice up your food with them, remember that a little goes a very long way.

Things You'll Need

  • Reggae or ska music
  • Jamaican food (made by you or purchased from a Jamaican restaurant)
  • Jamaica punch
  • Ginger beer
  • Rum (light or dark)
  • Red Stripe beer
  • Jamaican flags
  • Party decorations in green, black and yellow
  • Posters depicting Jamaican beaches or famous Jamaicans
  • Bamboo pole
  • Dominoes
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