Keepin' it Real - Caribbean Festivals
In its fourth year, the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival draws epicurean luminaries, celebrity chefs and wine and spirits superstars to its sandy shores for the four-day event held in mid November in various locations around Bridgetown, St Michael. A gathering of which Bacchus would approve, the event adds spice to palate and person with informative chef-led cooking demonstrations, wine and rum tastings, and nights filled with music. A delicious way to dine under the stars, with stars.
Jamaica’s largest concert festival, Reggae SumFest is chock-a-block with musical legends of today and yesterday belting out beats in the heat of the Tropics. Officially sponsored by Red Stripe, it attracts local and international talents such as Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley, Stephen Marley, The Mighty Diamonds, Toots & the Maytals, Beres Hammond, dancehall stars like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Lady Saw as well as heavy-hitters Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Trey Songz.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Watersport enthusiasts rejoice! Held in late June, early July, the 2013 HIHO-BVI Race promises a week of unforgettable adventure in the British Virgin Islands. Combining a love of the ocean with delicious finger-licking food and a bevy of nightly entertainment from live music to their famous costume pirate party, the event begins and ends in the water. Whether competing in the SUP, wind or kite class, or just there to enjoy the races, the event, which combines a six-day sailing odyssey through the BVI, is the perfect way to discover the islands.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
For almost 80 years, on the Tuesday after Easter, Buccoo village comes alive with the sound of goat hooves racing around a track. Highly competitive, the unique event developed as an alternative to horse racing and possesses many similarities such as stables, jockeys and trainers, who, running barefoot behind their animals, hold a leash and encourage them with twigs. Amidst a festive ambiance, bets are placed for prizes of cash, rum and trophies. With colourful Caribbean names given to the goats, it is the only place you can bet on Rum Punch while drinking one.
Celebrating a time when buccaneers ruled the seas, Pirates Week is held each November in the capital George Town and throughout the Sister Islands. Fun for all ages, this week long festival is a thrilling way to commemorate the heritage of the Cayman Islands with swashbuckling street parties, spectacular fireworks, a mock ‘pirate invasion,’ a booty-rocking street parade, local food and much more. Now in its 36th year, it is the perfect way for landlubbers and seadogs to celebrate. Ahoy matey!
TURKS & CAICOS
All hail the mighty mollusk! Now in its tenth year, the Turks and Caicos Conch Festival pays homage to the country’s number one export with a family-friendly, beachside event, which takes place in Providenciales in late November. Delivering the delicious island delicacy in an endless variety of ways from raw or fried, stewed or marinated, in a soup or salad, as well as other exotic events such as a ‘conch knocking’ competition and a special Swim for the Conch, the event is cracked up to be a winner.
November 6 - 9th 2013. Sixteen years strong, the Dominican Republic Latin Jazz Festival is a magnificent musical affair that brings together the beautiful beaches of the north coast with international and local jazz musicians. Full of Caribbean and Latin rhythms and flair the multi-day event features top-notch concerts as well as youth workshops and master classes all while raising money for the nonprofit FEDUJAZZ organisation which provides musical opportunities for the country’s children. Most certainly a shindig not to be missed.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
A highlight of the Caribbean racing calendar with its unique blend of island-style hospitality, competition and camaraderie, not to mention the setting, the St. Thomas Yacht Club’s International Rolex Regatta celebrates its 40th year this March. Since inception, Rolex is proud to support one of the world’s greatest yacht races featuring Independent Race Classes, Caribbean Sailing Association handicap racing and the Distance Race from Cowpet Bay to Charlotte Amalie Harbour and back to offer competitors a superlative view of St. Thomas’ capital.
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