Caribbean Festivals Celebrating the Food, Music, and Culture of the Islands: Travel Weekly

The season of summer festivals in the Caribbean is back.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, the area is once again brimming with dance, fabulous costumes, music, regattas, rum, food, sights and sounds at events showcasing the islands’ diversity.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest and most daring:

twenty-seventh Reggae Sumpfest Returns July 18-23 in Montego Bay. Jamaica’s first music festival coincides with the country’s year-round celebration of its 60th independence anniversary. Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett emphasized the importance of Sumfest, saying, “Reggae Sumfest is known to be the biggest reggae show in the world. Jamaica is its hometown, so we’re excited to be partners in this to make sure more and more people come to us.”

Bartlett said Jamaica is using Sumfest to open up new markets in the UAE, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.

Visit www.reggaesumfest.com for tickets, artist lineup and other information.

The Nevis Festival of Culture celebrates its 48th anniversary from July 21 to August 2. Image source: Tourism Authority Neven

Twenty-second annual The taste of Saint CroixHeld June 23 at Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino, this is a food festival featuring 50 of the island’s most famous chefs, waiters, and baristas serving a variety of recipes inspired by local traditions.

Favorite foods include fish, mushrooms, callaloo soup, Johnny Cake soup, a frozen fruit meal called fraccos and pate, and a crusty crust filled with salt fish, chicken, or beef. To find out more, go to www.tasteofstcroix.com.

Barbados crop festival above, which marks the end of the sugarcane growing season, is back on the calendar in July and August with parties, parades, live music, street vendors, market stalls, and food trucks. Most of the action takes place in the capital of Bridgetown.

Crop Over culminates with Grand Kadooment Day on August 1 when costumed revelers walk the streets from morning till night.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley announced earlier this year that Barbados will have a revised crop this year without sacrificing fun and safety. “We are pleased with this because we know that after two years of no cropping and no release, people are more than waiting for this opportunity.” Go to www.barbadoscropoverfestival.com to find out more.

The Calabash Festival in Montserrat, which takes place July 17-23, celebrates the hard-shelled tropical vegetables.

The Calabash Festival in Montserrat, which takes place July 17-23, celebrates the hard-shelled tropical vegetables. Image source: Montserrat Tourism

annual montserrat Calabash Festivalwhich takes place July 17-23, is named for the hard-shelled tropical vegetable that can be harvested young to be eaten or harvested to maturity dry and used as a bowl or pot.

This year’s festival features a major concert, bus and boat tours of the island, an Irish lecture series, a market day, a food fair, hiking and a road relay. The website www.visitmontserrat.com has more details about the festival.

weekly Thursday fried fish At PTV Stubbs Diamond Plaza in Providenciales in Turks and Caicos all summer season. The outdoor venue features more than a dozen restaurants, souvenir vendors, live music, and cultural performances.

Provo will also be the locale for a file conch race The mile-and-a-half swim races on June 25. Proceeds from the race go through the waters of Grace Bay to local charities. More information can be found at www.turksandcaicostourism.com.

The Turks and Caicos Islands also invite visitors to T.I. Summajam From 23 to 25 June in Grand Turk. Rita Gardiner, director of the Summajam Committee, says the three-day musical and cultural event promises to “recreate the good grandfather’s days with a dazzling and dynamic display of culture, music, entertainment, island food/drink, sports competitions, a beauty pageant, talent show and fun for all ages 2 through 92”. To learn more about the events, visit the Turks and Caicos Tourism website.

Anguilla summer festivalScheduled July 29 to August 7, the Eyes Wide Shut Party at Sandy Ground includes parades, a costume celebration, street fairs, road races, and a Regatta champion. Go to www.carnivaland.net/anguilla-summer-festival.

25 . dates St Kitts Music Festival From June 23-25, this year’s roster includes R&B and rap stars Sean Paul, Beres Hammond, Wale and Keyshia Cole.

Music genres range from reggae and dancehall to hip-hop, soca and jazz. Shows are held at Kim Collins Athletic Stadium in Basseterre. Additional events include lunch parties with local musicians, beach parties, boat rides, and after-party formals. Go to stkittsmusicfestival.com to find out more.

There’s a lot going on on the neighboring sister island of Nevis, too. The Mango and Food FestivalFrom July 1-3, an entire weekend celebrates the island’s 44 mangoes and the creative cuisines made with them. Celebrity chefs and Nevis chefs must prepare every course of every meal they cook or serve, and it must include Mango Nevis. Multiple events take place throughout the weekend. Find out more at nevisisland.com/mango-festival/.

The Nevis Calcherama FestivalIn the meantime, its forty-eighth anniversary is being celebrated here from July 21 to August 2. As the name suggests, Nifsia culture in all its forms is celebrated here, including dance, drama, poetry, music, processions, arts and crafts. Visit www.nevisculturama.com.

Leave a Comment