Antigua hosts a number of colourful festivals throughout the year. They fall within three distinct categories: traditional, musical and sports related, all of which offer an intriguing insight into the rich cultural past of this island. Behind every celebration lies an interesting story. There is no doubt that, year round, Antigua is a hub for sport, festivals and events. A few of these festivals are highlighted below along with the Events calendar.
Marking the opening of the Caribbean yachting season, ACYS is one of the largest and most influential charter yacht shows in the world. A wide range of charter vessels is showcased attracting professional charter M brokers from elite companies around the globe and covered by the media’s top yachting journalists.
Hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, the Caribbean’s only offshore yacht race attracts some of the world’s most fabulous yachts as well as an ever increasing number of international and professional sailors and sailing lovers from many different countries. Starting off Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour, the 600-nautical-mile course offers fantastic sailing around some of the most stunning islands in the world.
Starting at noon Annual Wobbly Party Fundraiser
The Annual Wobbly Party Fundraiser is held for ABSAR at the Catamaran Marina and Cambusa Restaurant. Build your own boat regatta, costumes, food, prizes and lots of fun.
International Kite Festival
This is a great family activity whether you intend to participate in the kite flying or just want to be a spectator of skies filled with colourful kites. Held annually in March/April, this festival is showing rapid growth, attracting those from across the Caribbean islands and the United States. Activities stretch over a week with competitions at various venues on the island as well as boat cruises and picnics
CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA
This regatta is an opportunity to relive bygone days of sleek, elegant sailing yachts gracing the seas. This is a showcase of classic boats of all sizes and a spectacular exhibition which begins with a Concours d’Elegance and continues with five days of races ending with a games day at the Admirals Inn and wonderful prize-giving ceremony at Nelson’s Dockyard.
Antigua Sailing Week
Considered one of the top regattas in the world it attracts an average of 150 yachts, over 1500 participants, 5000 spectators and some of the biggest, fastest and most impressive sailing yachts in the world, packed with Olympic, America’s Cup and round-the-world sailors. Antigua Sailing Week is the sailing equivalent of holding a tennis grand slam in the Caribbean where you can compete against the stars – with huge parties!
Sports Fishing Tournament
This tournament has grown since its start in the 1970’s and today attracts?a major regional following. Here fishing enthusiasts compete for the largest?catch, youngest catch and end with the Antigua & Barbuda Marlin Classic. For competitors it is a combination of risk, skill, efficient equipment, local knowledge and luck, while for all, young and old alike, the evening entertainment and food and drink light up the Antiguan party spirit.
In Antigua the mother of all cultural celebrations is Carnival, elements of which are deeply rooted in the original festivities that were held to celebrate the emancipation of slavery in 1834.
It is a 10 day event that starts in the last week of July and ends during the first week of August. The festival features colourful parades, Carnival Queen pageants, the local calypso, soca and steel pan music competitions, and live entertainment on the streets of St. John’s. During this period, a host of local dishes can be purchased from booths that line the streets just for the occasion. The culmination is two days of dancing and revelry in the streets of St. John’s, with carnival bands full of merrymakers dressed in elegantly decorated, colourful costumes. For more info visit www.antiguacarnival.com
Other Events Calendar
•Annual Gospel Festival
•Barbuda Independence Fishing Tournament
•Spring Gardens Moravian Independence Food Fair
•National Dress Day / Heritage Day
•Turtle Watching Season – July / October
•Anniversary of Independence – November 1
•Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta
•Best in the West Fishing Tournament
• Jolly Harbour Caribbean Regatta
•20/20 Masters Cricket Festival – www.antiguabarbudacricketfest.com
•National Tourism Week
• Annual Moods of Pan
•Antigua Charter Yacht Show -www.antiguayachtshow.com
•Antigua Yacht Club High Tide Series antiguayachtclub.com
•Nelson’s Pursuit Race – December 31
•Round The Island Race (Antigua Yacht Club)
•Super Yacht Challenge Antigua
•Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s day Regatta – www.jollyharbourregatta.com
•Royal Ocean Racing Club – Caribbean 600 Race caribbean600.rorc.org
•Antigua & Barbuda Open Golf Tournament mid february
•West Indies Sail Regatta
•Antigua Yacht Club International Laser
•Antigua & Barbuda International Kite Festival
•Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta – www.antiguaclassics.com.
•Guadeloupe to Antigua Race – www.sailingweek.com.
•Yachting World Round Antigua Race – www.sailingweek.com.
•Antigua Sailing Week – www.sailingweek.com
•Back II Life Music Festival
•The Inn Challenge Trophy
•Antigua and Barbuda Marlin Classic
•Annual Antigua Tennis Week at Curtain Bluff – antiguatennisweek.com
•Antigua & Barbuda Sports Fishing Tournament – antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com
•International Anglican Food Fair
•Romance Month: Destination Wedding Sweepstakes
• Grown & Sexy in Antigua
•Annual Antigua Carnival Celebrations – www.antiguacarnival.com
•Annual Mango Pineapple Culinary Competition
• Turtle Watching Season – July/ October
•Carnival Monday / J’ouvert
•Carnival Tuesday / Last Lap Jump
•Mango Pineapple Festival
•Dejam Music Festival
•Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival
•Turtle Watching Season – July/October