Carnival “Summer Festival”
Anguilla Carnival is the ultimate holiday on the island. Also know as Anguilla’s “Summer Festival” carnival begins in late July continue through the first week in the month of August.
The fire works on the opening night marks the beginning of the festivities. You are treated to music from the local bands on opening night and you get a taste of what you will experience in the week to come.
The week of the Carnival there are many events and shows that you just cannot miss. Events such as the prince and princess and the junior calypso show which features the creative talents of Anguilla’s up and coming youth.
Many of the events are held at the night in the Landsome Bowl Culture Center. Local bands compete in the “Band Clash” for a cash prize a few nights before the biggest event of the festivities which is August Monday.
Every first Monday of the month of August features one of the biggest events of the Carnival. Put simply August Monday is the heart of the Carnival. Starting as just the celebration of the island main sport boat racing, August Monday has evolved into something much bigger of the Carnival festivities. See featured photo at the top
In the wee hours of the morning on August Monday you will see the roads being filled as the people come out to participate in “Jouvert Morning”. This is the street jam where the local bands competing for the coveted “Road March Title” go head to head. Each band has a float with a sound system. The event begins at 5am and last until around 10am in the morning. It begins in the valley and ends in Sandy Ground. Its open to anyone to attend so if you feel like it you can join in on the fun.
Each band releases music at the beginning of Carnival and this same music captivates the crowds as they escape the sound systems on that morning.
When the Jouvert is over the day does not end there, the party continues in Sandy Ground for the beach party. At the beach party big name Caribbean performers come to entertain the crowds way past midnight. There is a variety of food on the beach and people to meet. Its easy to get lost on this day in the culture of Anguilla.
While on the beach you can see dozens of docked party boats all along the beach. All evening the beach is filled to capacity with people, food and drinks.
August Thursday is the second biggest day of the week. On that day there is a boat race that starts in Meads Bay. All day the beach is filled with people, music and food until the boats get back. Be sure to walk with an umbrella as the sun could get a bit hot at times.
August Thursday continues and climaxes with The Miss Anguilla Queens Pageant. This is the show that most look forward to and is one of the biggest nights of pageantry in the whole summer festival. The show consists of several constants who showcase their talents and intellectual ability in hopes to become the next “Queen” of Anguilla.
Parade of Troupes
On Friday is the Parade of Troupes. The different villages form their own troupes and dance in their colorful costumes along the streets of the Valley. The different troupes decorate the streets in their vibrant colors and parade to the carnival village where they will be judged and the winner will get the main prize. On Sunday the festivities come to a close with a closing ceremony with the winners of the various events announced.
Carnival is one of the most festive times on the island and people from all over the Caribbean come to take part in it. If you have not been a part of this colorful and lively event make sure that you include it in your plans for your next visit to Anguilla it will be one of your most memorable experienced on the island.
Festival Del Mar
When Easter comes to town Island Harbor at the Festival Del Mar in Anguilla is the place to be. This event is one of Anguilla’s finest annual events. Fortunately the event is held on the Easter weekend which means that many can travel to be here for this event.
Starting in 2008 Festival Del Mar has become one of the biggest events in Easter on the island. The immersive nature of festival will allow anyone to get a taste of the Anguillian culture. With the soothing smell of fried Johnny cakes, lovely Anguillian music and grilled lobster oozing with juiciness Festival Del Mar will fill every sense with the true Anguillian experience.
Festival Del Mar provides you with the opportunity to celebrate the islands love for the sea. The island has a long history of the sea and it goes back hundreds of years. Boat racing is our national sport and our islands first love, when you speak about Anguilla you speak about boat racing.
The festival is held all day on the Saturday and Sunday of the Easter weekend so there is enough time for you to come and bask in the atmosphere.
At the festival there is food, live music and boatracing. The food starts serving at around 10am and depending on what your choice is there are a variety of different foods like lobster, johnny cakes, shark, fried fish and almost everything from the sea. If you aren’t really a fan of sea food there still will definitely be something for you there.
Come and relax in the cool sea breeze and join in with some of the locals in an exciting game of dominoes. Take a relaxing walk along the sandy beach while taking a look at all of the festival activities. Grab a souvenir to remember your day at the event and keep a memory for a lifetime. You can also shake a leg when the scratch band strikes up.
There are also many events that take place such as sunfish racing, deep sea fishing contest and much more. The place really begins to come alive as the day continues with the place becoming flooded with locals and tourists alike.
From the wonderful colors of the sails of the boats whisking by to the steel pan music playing there is enough to keep you entertained for the whole day. Fresh fish in the hands of fishermen stepping onto the wharf from their boats ensures that there is enough for everyone to enjoy. As the sun goes down live musical performances keep you entertained way past midnight.
There are enough experiences at the Festival Del Mar to give you a taste of Anguilla’s culture. If you are traveling to Anguilla or if you have been coming for a while and you have not been to this festival then you definitely have to include it in your next visit. There is enough to make the experience memorable for you and your family. Come and enjoy the sea and culture at Anguilla’s Festival Del Mar we know you will not regret it.