January (Happy New Year)
Minival – A recently instituted celebration, Minival (mini carnival) is a twist on the annual carnival celebrations. Revelers take to the streets to ring in the New Year in a festive parade, while the culture of Antigua and Barbuda is also highlighted with various cultural staples such as Moko Jumbies, John Bull, and iron and steel bands. In addition, some of the funds raised during the celebrations are donated towards various charitable causes, meaning that participants not only have a good time but also contribute to a worthy cause.
Round the Island Race and Super Yacht Cup by Antigua Yacht Club
Tel: 268-460-1799 or visit www.antiguayachtclub.com
Horse Racing – It may come as a surprise that horse racing is a big even in Antigua and Barbuda. On Valentine’s Day families gather at the Cassada Gardens Racetrack to watch local and regional horses go head to head for a day filled with excitement and fun.
Jolly Harbour Yacht Club-Valentine’s Day Regatta.
Tel: 268-461-6300 or visit the website www.jhycantigua.com
Seafood Fest – As an island, it’s only natural that Antiguans and Barbudans love seafood. This love culminates in the Seafood Fest, a celebration of tasty dishes drawn from our own waters. Enjoy fish, lobster, crab, conch, and other local delicacies, or take part in any of the festivities such as the mango eating competition.
Antigua International Laser Open by Antigua Yacht Club
Tel: 268-460-1799 or www.antiguayachtclub.com
In the last week of April the small community of English and Falmouth Harbour comes alive as thousands of locals and international sailors gather for the annual Antigua Sailing Week. With various races throughout the week, this event is one of the top sailing events in the world. But not all the activity happens on the water – as various activities such as Lay Day and Dockyard Day provide fun and frolic for the yachtsmen involved.
Sailing Week starts (2014 26th April to 2nd of May more info )
Curtain Bluff Hotel hosts the Annual Antigua Tennis Week.
Caribana – In May the spotlight turns to the smaller sister island of Barbuda for the annual Caribana. With a number of events such as a calypso and soca competition, queen show/pageant, and street parade, Caribana is an activity not to be missed!
(End of sailing week in 2014)
Annual Warri Tournament –An ancient strategy game similar to chess, Warri (or Oware) was brought over to Antigua and Barbuda through slaves who were shipped to the Caribbean from Africa. Although in other countries this game has waned in significance, Antiguans have managed to master the art of warri play, with several Antiguans having captured the world championships. Join the crowd or even learn to play as the best warri players go head to head for the title of the Antiguan Warri Champion.
Approximate start of Hurricane season.
Antigua Carnival Celebrations
Tel: 268-462-4707/268-462-0194 or visit www.antiguacarnival.com
Carnival – Antigua’s biggest festival officially starts off with a bang in July. With a number of activities including the opening parade, t shirt mas, calypso and soca monarch shows, there is something for every one of any age and background to enjoy. Carnival stretches into August with a massive celebration involving thousands of revelers. Enjoy jouvert, with revelers covered in paint, mud, and chocolate. Then make it back to St. John’s for the Carnival Monday celebration, with relatively informal costume as revelers chip behind the music trucks. On Carnival Tuesday it’s the real deal, as masqueraders dress up in elaborate costumes of feathers and beads, as they enjoy the parade during the afternoon before the “last Lap” in the evening.
Mango Fest – The annual mango fest is a dream for mango lovers and aficionados. The event takes place at the Christian Valley Agricultural Station, and involves a wide range of activities including workshops, storytelling, competitions, and of course lots of mangoes and mango products being sold.
Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament and Seafood Fest – Although officially a fishing tournament, this event is suitable for the entire family. Fishermen compete to see who can catch the most fish and win the crown of best fisherman in Antigua. In addition, fresh fish is sold while other vendors sell delectable seafood dishes such as fried fish and fungi. This event is held in memory of Francis Nunes Jr. who was integral to the development of sports fishing in Antigua and Barbuda.
October/November– Independence celebrations – At the end of October, the country gears up for celebrations of the date when Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence from Britain on November 1. Activities include an independence fashion show involving top local designers, folk and dance celebrations, the national youth rally, and other local cultural events.
Rough ending to the Hurricane season.
Moods of Pan festival – The Annual Moods of Pan Festival features a number of competitions and performances by some of the best steel pan players and groups Antigua and Barbuda has to offer. A brainchild of the Gemonites Steep Pan orchestra, this festival is a delight to pan experts and music fans alike.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Independence Day – Public Holiday
December (Merry Christmas)
December – EAG Annual Star Watching – At the end of the year the Environmental Awareness Group, one of the leading Caribbean conservation groups, invites the public to come out and enjoy a family affair in viewing the stars. With telescopes, binoculars, and several guides on hand, it’s a great way to learn the location and history of the star constellations. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and warm clothing!
The Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta.