It’s not all beaches and cocktails in Antigua. With a vibrant and exciting calendar, we just had to let you in on the very best events going down throughout the year…
Antigua’s Sailing Week – April/May
The longest running sailing regatta in the Caribbean, Antigua’s Sailing Week is a 6 day celebration of the island’s infamous maritime culture. You can expect an array of fun filled events, including boat races (of course), daily prize giving ceremonies and vibrant parties. Attracting hundreds of spectacular yachts and thousands of spectators every year, this is undoubtedly the highlight of Antigua’s eclectic calendar. A particular highlight has to be the huge party at Nelson’s Dockyard, held on the last night of the annual event.Its a great night and the perfect way to end such a fantastic celebration. We say time your trip to coincide with this one – you won’t regret it.
Antigua’s Kite Festival – April
The Antiguan International Kite Festival takes flight (excuse the pun) in April each year, filling the clear blue sun-drenched skies with an array of large, colourful kites. Seeing as clouds in Antigua are as rare as sun in England, we’d say there’s no harm in seeing the blue skies filled with more than just sun rays and soaring birds. A truly unique event, don’t be surprised to see 10 metre long lobsters and dinosaurs hitting the sky when the festival is in full swing. Staying true to form, the rich colours of the Antiguan culture are out in abundance, making this a Black Tomato favourite. So, grab that deck chair and a cocktail. You’re in for a treat.
Sports Fishing Tournament and Seafood Festival – May/June
The day before this two day fishing frenzy kicks off, go to the Captain’s Briefing on the lawn of the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel and chat to the fishermen. When those guys hit the water, you can expect to see an abundance of tuna, marlin and kingfish. This isn’t just about the fish, though – it’s also an extraordinary social event. Sponsored by the likes of Carib Beer and Cavalier Rum, the drinks are cheap and they seem to flow non-stop. The party continues at the Seafood Festival afterwards with an endless selection of fish on offer, caught fresh from the waters around you. This is definitely the time and the plaice (couldn’t resist) to be in Antigua.
Turtle Watching season – July-October
Every Friday night throughout the season you can head out on a boat ride to an offshore island where not one, but two experienced researchers will educate you with fun facts and conservation practices. Patrol the beach for a couple of hours and witness the absolutely unique and captivating sight of hundreds of baby Hawksbill turtles hatching and making their mad rush to the sea. You might even be lucky enough to watch a mother clambering up to the beach to lay her eggs. Go on, have your very own David Attenborough moment in paradise.
Antigua Carnival – July/August
It’s like Notting Hill Carnival, but bigger, longer and louder. A festival of music and dance lasting 10 days, the Antigua Carnival celebrates emancipation, and boy, will you feel free. The festivities flit between colourful costume parades, food fairs and concerts. And these are only the smaller aspects of entertainment. Wait until you see the Parade of Bands competition and the Queen of Carnival competition. We can guarantee you’ll be awe-inspired by this vibrant celebration of Caribbean culture.
Nelson’s Dockyard Champagne Party – December
We’ve already got your attention with that title, haven’t we? So what if we then upped the ante and told you this happened at the most festive time of year? That’s right; the champagne party is also a Christmas Day party and with over 500 bottles sold, it’s the right way to do Christmas. Dance all day amongst festively-dressed people and you’ll soon be having too much fun to remember you’re away from home. It’s all for a good cause too, as all proceeds go to the Hourglass Foundation, a group that aids a selection of charities. We love a good deed, so why not party the day away until the very end, which, we’re happy to inform, is only when the last person leaves.