Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.
Become a CaribbeanFamilyTripper fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed:
Antigua Holidays & Festivals
The hottest event of the year is Antigua
Sailing Week, held in April. During this time, Antigua hotel rooms
can be hard to come by. On this week, Nelson's Dockyard at English Harbour
comes to life with the color and pageantry of the largest regatta in the
Caribbean. Parties, barbecues, races, Lord Nelson's Ball, and more highlight
this annual event, now in its third decade.
Other special events include the Culinary
Exposition in May and Independence Day on November 1st. Carnival
is the hottest summer activity, scheduled in late July to commemorate
emancipation. The events include steel pan music, calypso, beauty pageants,
and parades with elaborately costumed musicians in bands of 75 to 300
members. Join in the fun and march with the musical troupes as they wind
their way through St. John's. You'll find plenty of local food at Carnival
City (otherwise known as the Antigua Recreation Grounds in St. John's):
seasoned rice, doucana ( a dumpling made of flour, sweet potatoes, coconut
and sometimes raisins), and saltfish.
In late October and early November, the Hot
Air Balloon Festival lights the skies. Close to a dozen hot air balloons
schedule launches at English Harbour, Newfield, Jolly Harbour, St. John's,
Curtain Bluff, and other sites around the island. To celebrate Antigua's
independence, British sky divers jump from 2,000 feet carrying the Antiguan
flag. Other festivities include parades, gun salutes, and dancing in St.
John's. A night flight over English Harbour makes for a spectacular scene.
Calendar of Events