Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (coral reef aerial view)
Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority (boats)
Dates Not to Miss
By Ava Rosales
Summer brings a blend of smiles, sun and mango mania. English, François, Papiamento, Patois, Creole, Español – the Caribbean is a mash-up of languages, cultures and carnivals. This is the season for anything that gathers people for summer long celebrations, as only the islands can.
Jamaica opens the month with celebrations across the island for International Reggae Day, July 1.
Meanwhile, on Saint Lucia, t’s a month long celebration of festivities across the island, from Anse La Raye to Gros Islet, as calypso festivals, national J’ouvert, parade of the bands and fetes abound Saint Lucia Carnival, July 1 – August 1 www.stlucia.org/summerfestival/saint-lucia-carnival/
Down in the US Virgin Islands their “jump-up” has everyone dancing in the street for St. John Carnival, July 4
On Nevis though, their festivities are focused on a fruit – not just any fruit. If you thought that a mango was just a mango, then guess again. The island introduces you to over 40 varieties of the succulent fruit served up in exquisite gastronomic creations – Julie, Bombay, Hayden and so many more. Chef s are challenged to prepare every dish with a mango twist, at Nevis Mango and Food Festival, July 5 – 8. The local culinary experts close the festivities at the Nevesian Chef’s Mango Fest, July 8 https://nevismangofest.com/
A special gourd gets its deserved acknowledgment for its versatility and prominence in Caribbean culture during the week-long party – any reason to eat, drink, dance and have fun – it’s the Montserrat Calabash Festival, July 15 – 22.
Like a glimpse into the past, the “tall ships” are sailing into Curaçao for one of the ports of call during Velas Latinoamérica Curaçao 2018, July 15 – 18 https://www.facebook.com/VelasLatinoamericaCuracao2018/
Nevis closes the month with their celebration of the island’s emancipation of slavery. Just under 200 years’ worth of commemoration for one of the most important events for the islands. No wonder it’s multiple days of arts and culture. Come be a part of Nevis Culturama Festival, July 26 – August 7.
Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda too are celebrating the summer fruit that can be found in abundance across the Caribbean with Antigua and Barbuda Mango Festival www.facebook.com/AnnualMangoFest Take advantage at the end of this month to join in the festivities that have been going 60 years strong Antigua Carnival, July 22 – August 2
Bermuda has anglers racing for the big catch during these multi-days, multi-events of skill and will. Teams are put to the test as they vie for over $1 million in cash and prizes in a fun and competitive arena – the open waters – Tournaments are underway all month during the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship, starting with the Bermuda Billfish Blast, July 3 – 7, followed by the Bermuda Release Cup, July 8 – 10, then comes the Bermuda Big Game Classic, July 12 – 16, and end it all with the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament, July 18 – 22 https://www.bermudatriplecrown.com/
Close the month with a two-week long festival of freedom during Tortola’s celebration replete with grand parade, J’ouvert, trucks and a beach party to close the festivities. It’s an immersion in Caribbean culture and a momentous time in history during the annual BVI Emacipaton Festival, Jul 22 – Aug 1 https://www.oilnutbay.com/blog/bvi-emancipation-festival/
In Barbados, they take their celebrations from along the shore to under the sea. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to get your feet wet or not. Come marvel in the beauty of Barbados and even help to keep it that way, whether it’s snorkeling, diving, hunting AND eating lionfish or participating in a beach clean-up, activities abound at Dive Fest Barbados ‘18 , July 4 – 8 https://www.divefestbarbados.com/
Stay a while longer and catch an assembly of youth showcasing their expertise in the popular West Indian game of cricket. It’s not unusual to get an early glimpse at future contenders in the professional leagues, as they bowl and bat, during Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament, July 7 – 24.
Over in Jamaica, their premier event that showcases their signature sound really needs no introduction. The musical style that is recognized globally, will assuredly have the “best of the best” jammin’ at a celebration like no other at Reggae Sumfest, July 15 – 21, www.reggaesumfest.com It’s quite a different scene in the city as professional and amateur athletes have prepared body and mind to face challenging obstacle courses, as Jamaica tackles the developing sports tourism arena during the Guardsman Games, July 22 www.guardsmangames.com
However, Barbados is still doing their thing, partying with a hit list of Bajan Soca superstars at Flow Soca on de Hill, July 22 www.socaondehill.com/
Antigua keeps things jumping with their Carnival Monday, August 1 and Carnival Tuesday, August 2 www.antiguacarnival.com
Jamaica’s north coast is the place to be this month. Whether it’s a swanky rendezvous with a celebrity and socialite list of “who’s who” at SPF Weekend, August 3 – 6 www.spfweekend.com/ or for the casual outdoor culinary feast on crustaceans and the catch of the day at the Ocho Rios Seafood Festival, August 5
End the month with a party of all parties that headlines a notable list of melodious musicians who comprise the smooth and sultry sounds of the internationally renowned Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival 2018, August 30 – September 1 https://www.curacaonorthseajazz.com/nl/
Antigua continues to draw anglers from far and near for the Francis Nunes Jr. Fishing Tournament, September 23 – 24 www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com