Take the opportunity to learn more than you ever wanted to know or even thought that you knew about mangoes and other deliciously succulent tropical delights. There will be crafts, activities and even a “Mango Dis Mango Dat” contest, guaranteed you’ll be able to “eat til yuh belly bust” (vernacular for eat until your stomach is full and beyond). It’s a treat and feast for the entire family in the St. George Village Botanical Garden, during the 21st Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival, July 9 www.sgvbg.org/event/mango-melee-and-tropical-fruit-festival-4 .
Barbados opens the month with their aquatic adventure for everyone – above, below or by the waters, no matter your penchant, there’s pleasure to be had swimming, diving or strolling along the shore. Explore the magnificent underwater world and learn how to protect it from above and below at Dive Fest Barbados, July 5 – 9 www.divefestbarbados.com/ .
Martinique puts females first as they push the pedals and cycle to the finish, during the 4th Annual Grand Prix de Féminines, July 1 – 2; then it’s the men’s turn to join in on the road for the 36th Annual Tour Cycliste International Martinique, July 8 – 16 cyclismemartinique.com/
Sails unfurl to catch the warm summer winds, as boats glide atop the crystal-clear waters. It’s “all aboard” for the All Andros & Berry Islands Regatta, July 7 – 10 www.bahamas.com/event/all-andros-berry-islands-regatta .
Around St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, anglers are strapping in for the big catch during the The 51st Annual July Open Tournament, July 6 – 8 https://vigfc.com
In the Bahamas, back on land the authentic, cultural celebration of feast and festivities throughout the islands are the happening in July. Freeport’s celebrations are held every Thursday, beginning on July 6, and on Andros, their Goombay Summer Festival takes place July 21 – 22 www.bahamas.com/event/goombay-summer-festival-0 .
Further south, it’s “jump-up” time at Antigua’s Carnival, July 28 – August 8 www.antiguacarnival.com During the week’s merriments, be sure to indulge, once again, in the fruit of the season at Antigua and Barbuda Mango Festival, July 30 – 31.
Known to some as checkers, but to many as draughts (pronounced “drafts”)- this board game tournament has serious players focused on their most winning moves at the 1st International Curaçao Open Draughts Challenge. June 25 – July 2.
How often can one say that they traveled to slip into an independent or feature film at a cinema in paradise? Cayman is meeting that indulgence and making its mark as a “world-class filming destination” with an array of cinematic artistry appearing on-screen during CAYFILM: Cayman International Film Festival, June 30 – July 3 www.cayfilm.com/festival-events/ .
If you have visited Barbados during the summer, then you are aware that the island celebrates an annual festival that is more than an event, it’s a season! This allows for endless festive possibilities. One of which brings out soca bands in full force to claim the title of best of the best during Soca Royale, July 30. On Brandon’s Beach, grab a spot on the white sands, and spread your towel, lay back and soak in the melodious magic of the Caribbean’s steel pan, for as the name implies, it’s Pan Pun de Sand, July 16. The revelry “winds down,” or should we say peaks, at the closing, with pageantry and parades, where it’s non-stop music and masquerade merriment at Grand Kadooment www.ncf.bb/crop-over-2016-june-25-to-august-2/ .
Over in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the action is at sea where reels are set and cast, during the St. Thomas Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s 51st Annual July Open Billfish Tournament, July 6 – 8 https://vigfc.com . Closer to the end of the month, the entire island and folks from around the world gather beneath the skies for Jazz in the Park, July 22.
This little island of Montserrat is celebrating in a grand way the little gourd that has had a big impact throughout the Caribbean and many other parts of the world. Don’t miss the Calabash Festival, July 16 – 23.
Off the shores of Martinique, the colorful array of sails are picturesque across the vibrant blue sea, where sailors skilfully maneuver and race with spirited ease, during Tour de Martinique de Yoles Rondes, July 31 – August 7 www.yoles-rondes.net/ .
Across the Caribbean, in Jamaica, for 25 years, the iconic, signature sound of the island promises to be bigger and better with a list of who’s who in the reggae world, from the home grown to the international stars – Reggae Sumfest, July 16 – 23 www.reggaesumfest.com/ . Then, hot on its heels, there’s not a minute’s rest as the island counts down to independence day. Negril hosts a week of events that draws thousands ready to imbibe adult concoctions and indulge in all things bacchanal. Contrary to its name, sleep is far from party-goers minds during Dream Weekend, July 28 – August 1 jamaicadreamweekend.com/ .Things remain spicy, in a different way though, with the island’s world famous flavor – come savor culinary creations and cook-offs at the family-friendly, Mobay Jerk Festival, July 31 – August 1 montegobayjerkfestival.com/main/#!/ .
Over in the British Virgin Islands, boats dock around a sea of revelers. As water is waist high and knee deep, bring a float, find a friend and prepare to have fun – there may even be a Santa sighting or two at Savannah Bay, Virgen Gorda, during Xmas in July, July 28 – August 9 www.wallycastro.com . At the same time, an extravagant celebration of freedom and a cultural history is occurring, with copious international and local flavor. Come listen to the folklore and become immersed in the British Virgin Islands’ rich history during Emancipation Festival, July 28 – August 9.
Montserrat “heads-up” the month, literally, with their infamous Cudjoe Head Festival, August 4 – 5. This event joins a month of celebrations of independence throughout many of the countries in the Caribbean.
In Martinique though it’s a modern-day test of strength and stamina with mountainous maneuvers for runners at Raid Lanmenten, August 12 tchimberaid.com/evenement/raid-lanmanten/ .
Countries converge on Barbados to celebrate culture and history during Carifesta XIII – Barbados 2017, August 17 – 27 www.carifesta.net/ . This is truly an experience that takes locals and guests beyond the beach to explore the unique qualities that define the Caribbean and its people.
Grand Bahama Island is rejoicing with horns, headdress and flamboyant costumes that are symbolic of their unique celebration during Junkanoo Summer Festival, August 5 – 19 www.bahamas.com/event/junkanoo-summer-festival-grand-bahama-island .
The Berry Islands in the Bahamas has good cause to celebrate the sportsmen and women who are engaging in the environmentally responsible and important endeavor to catch and relieve surrounding waters of the pesky and unwanted Lion Fish. There will be delicious seafood and celebration at the Lobster Fest & Lion Fish Derby, August 11 – 12 http://www.bahamas.com/event/lobster-fest-lion-fish-derby .
Not for the faint of heart, it’s a feast for the fittest as St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, takes bikers, swimmers and runners through a triathlon, or a swim and run in the aquathon. In true Caribbean-style, finish line and take some “sup” at the beach that awaits the agile athletes who cross the finish line, and spectators too, at the 18th Annual Love City Triathlon, Aquathon, & SUP, September 5 – 10 www.stjohnlandsharks.com .
In the Bahamas, it’s smooth sailing for crews during the Eleuthera & Harbour Island Rock Sound Sailing Regatta, September 21 – 23 www.bahamas.com/event/rock-sound-sailing-regatta .
Then Fishermen close the month in Antigua & Barbuda to reel in the catch of the day and then feast on the delectable sea fare that makes it to the skillet or grill at the Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival, September 30 www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com .