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.
Organised by the Superyacht Challenge committee, this 52-mile anti-clockwise circumnavigation of Antigua is exclusively reserved for boats entered into the 2018 RORC Caribbean 600 offshore classic. An exciting race and a perfect part of preparation and training for boats and crew before the main offshore event which takes place a few days later.
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.
Four days of racing off the south coast sees yachts in excess of 80 foot competing in an exciting challenge aimed at fair racing and good companionship. Team that with laid-back social events and you have a celebration of pure fun afloat and ashore!
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
Antigua and Barbuda Pineapple Mango Festival(Piango Fest) Held
At Cades Bay Agricultural Station, this deliciously enticing two-day event attracts hundreds of people eager to sample the mouthwatering mangoes and pineapples that grow there, as well as the mouth-watering locally-made products using these divine, such as jams, wines, smoothies, pastry and more!
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
1 – 38th Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence Celebrations
3 – 10 Annual Curtain Bluff Tennis Challenge
24 – Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta
Gemonite’s Moods of Pan Festival
4 – 9 – 59th Antigua Charter Yacht Show
5 – Helping Hand Foundation 6th Annual New Year’s Sports Classic
25 – Nelson’s Dockyard Christmas Day Champagne Party
31 – Nelson’s Pursuit Race
31 – Nelson’s Dockyard Old Year’s Night Party
Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge: Rowers expected to start arriving
18 – AYC Round the Island Race
14 – 15 – Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta
12 – Round Redonda Race
21 – Antigua 360 Race
24 – Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 Race start
7 – 8 – AUA Tinman Rohr Triathlon
11 – Super Yacht Challenge Antigua
14 – Soothe: A night of neo-soul, jazz rhythms and spoken words
21 – Playing to Inspire 4 with the Duke Ellington School of Arts
23 – 24 – Antigua Yacht Club Annual Laser Open
4 – Antigua & Barbuda Horticultural Society Flower and Garden Show
1 – 7 – Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
13 – Antigua and Barbuda International Kite Festival
25 – Peters & May Round Antigua Race
26 April – 1 May – 53nd Antigua Sailing Week
2 – Dockyard Day – Nelson’s Dockyard
6 – Antigua Bermuda Race, starts in Antigua
8 – 10 – Antigua and Barbuda Culinary and Bartending Competition
11- 24 – Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week
29 – Mike Pigott Jr. Memorial Classic & Fishing Tournament
24 – Run in Paradise, Half Marathon 10K and 5K
29 – Barbuda’s Caribana Celebrations
30 – 31 – 54th Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament
1 – Annual Whit Monday 4 x 1.5 Miles Road Relay & Walk
10 – 11 – Showcase Antigua Barbuda
14 – 21 – Antigua and Barbuda Yoga Week
21 – International Day of Yoga
20 – 21 – Shiva’s School of Dance Annual Production