Entertainment: Top 10 Festivals

March 22nd 2023 in Travel
Entertainment: Top 10 Festivals

Top 10 Most Famous Festivals in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda are more than just holiday spots. These little islands feature a range of exciting events throughout the year, ranging from carnivals and festivals to cricket matches, sailing weeks, and more. As a result, while arranging your Antigua and Barbuda itinerary, include plenty of beach time and time to participate in these engaging activities.

Wadadli Day

Wadadli Day is one of Antigua and Barbuda's most well-known celebrations. This annual celebration of Antigua and Barbuda's culture is held each February in Saint John's Botanical Gardens, where trees provide shade for the festival's warri games (a strategic board game), in which the Prime Minister has previously participated.

Wadadli Day is an important event on the Antigua and Barbuda calendar because it allows Antiguans and Barbudans to display all things local, not just in agriculture but also in other local enterprises. Pumpkin, lettuce, peppers, sweet potatoes, cabbage, cassava bread, and other native products were available. A colourful outdoor market will sell food, beverages, and homemade goods against live dancing and music.

Place: St John's Botanical Gardens

Time: February

Kite Festival

Kite flying is a favourite Easter weekend activity throughout the Caribbean, and Antigua is no exception. The Kite Festival is one of Antigua and Barbuda's most well-known festivals. This festival's goal is to create a one-of-a-kind "Kiting Holiday" and to propagate the kiting love throughout the Caribbean.

The Kite Festival will include brightly coloured, and traditional handcrafted kites as folks of all ages participate in this Easter Monday tradition. Hundreds of kite flyers gather at Devil's Bridge National Park during the peak of the windy season for this fantastic family-friendly festival.

Place: Devil's Bridge National Park

Time: Easter weekend

Seafood Festival

The Antigua and Barbuda Seafood Festival is a pleasant and intriguing festival that includes music, incredible seafood, and arts and crafts. This event is held after the Carnival weekend, allowing family and friends to spend a relaxed day out while sampling a variety of seafood that will surely please any seafood enthusiast.

The Seafood Festival is held to exhibit the variety of seafood meals available, such as crabs, conchs, fish, and lobsters, as well as dishes for all seafood eaters from all walks of life, with vendors constantly showcasing delicacies.

Additionally, the organisers increased their efforts by providing updated facilities. They added activities for the entire family, such as a mango-eating competition, a fishing competition for children, a bounce castle, a boat ride around Carlisle Bay, and restaurant-stle seating arrangements.

Place: Urlings Wharf

Time: August

Antigua Sailing Week

This premier regatta has established itself as one of the world's top three most prestigious regattas, as well as the Caribbean's longest-running premier regatta. The Antigua sailing week has likewise grown in popularity over the last half-century, becoming one of the most well-known celebrations in Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua sailing week attracts sailors from all over the world, extending as far south as South Africa. As the sails are disengaged, and the boats return to land, the party continues with an explosion of day and night festivities. It attracts teams from throughout the Caribbean. Many residents enjoy the thrilling "Lay-Day" beach festival, where the rum and joy never cease. Yachts and crews worldwide will compete for prizes and medals in the grand finale.

Place: English Harbour

Time: between late April and the early May

Antigua Carnival

The Antigua Carnival lasts about two weeks and gets more prominent and better every year. However, it still includes the typical elements: incredible parades and revelry all day and night, street parties, palpable excitement, and water sprayed on everyone.

The Mas Camp, where the procession begins parading on the first Saturday, is a bustling hub of activity as people work hard to create their stunning festival costumes. Other highlights include beauty pageants, steel bands, children's activities, local concerts, cultural exhibitions, and other minor festivals. The Antigua Carnival is a spectacular celebration of emancipation full of entertainment, excitement, and colour.

The racing is fierce, and the environment is stunning. High trade winds and large ocean swells make the racing fast, challenging, but enjoyable, and many foreign yachts compete. Add Caribbean sunlight and a day of relaxing on pristine sands while dipping your toes in crystal-clear seas, and you'll have the perfect sailing regatta.

Place: Streets of St. John's and Carnival City at the Antigua Recreation Ground (A.R.G)

Time: the end of July

Cricket Festival

Residents and visitors flock to Antigua and Barbuda every November for the Antigua and Barbuda International Cricket Festival. Antigua has three cricket grounds, one of which is the well-known Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Various teams from various countries fight to create exciting matches that spectators may enjoy from the stands.

Before this premier tournament, there are afternoon coaching sessions with vibrant music and prepared barbecued chicken, peas, and rice lunches. Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda can experience sports enthusiasm during the cricket festival while relaxing on white-sand beaches, basking in the sun, and sipping rum punch as the sun sets.

Place: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Time: November

Independence Day

Since November 1, 1981, when Antigua and Barbuda acquired independence from the United Kingdom, the islands have been celebrated with raucous celebrations accompanied by chiming church bells and blaring sirens. Independence Day is a national holiday in Antigua and Barbuda. The Prime Minister delivers a speech to the nation. Following that, there is a spectacular ceremonial parade.

During the two weeks preceding the festival, all government buildings and schools are brightly coloured in yellow and red, and the streets are bustling with parades, music, food fairs, and galas. The islands come alive with patriotism and pride throughout this festival. If you can visit the island around this time of year, the Independence Day (and week) events are a must-see.

Time: November 1

Sport Fishing Tournament

The annual sport fishing event consists of two days of fishing followed by an after-party with plenty of family entertainment. This is one of Antigua's most exciting social events of the year, even if you are not a fisherman.

Sports fishermen and seafood lovers will enjoy the exciting tournament, departing from the historic Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The atmosphere at the sport fishing tournament makes it a great day out with family and friends.

Place: Nelson's Dockyard

Time: June 2

Independence Food Fair

The Independence Food Fair is Antigua and Barbuda's most prominent food fair, held during the country's annual Independence Celebrations on November 1. To greet those attending the Independence Ceremony Parade, food merchants from Antigua and Barbuda set up colourful kiosks adorned with national flags on the outside grounds of the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Local specialities are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, allowing foodies to spend the entire day at the event.

Popular items at the Independence Food Fair include the country's national cuisines, such as a savoury tomato-based salt-fish and sweet 'ducana' (a combination of sweet potato and coconut) or fungee (cornmeal based) and pepperpot (with spinach, eggplant, and okra), as well as treats such as coconut sugar cakes, tamarind stews, fudges, and old-fashioned ice cream.

Time: November 1

Mango Festival

The Antigua and Barbuda Mango Festival, held in July in the Botanical Gardens, gives the delicious mango a chance to shine. The main goal of the Mango Festival is to promote the usage of mangoes and other fruits.

The Mango Festival is a two-day event with a wide variety of mangoes that will satisfy mango fans. The Mango booths will be fully stocked with a wide range of mangoes, mango trees, and the best mango treats made in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as jams, pepper sauces, wines, smoothies, pastries, ice creams, scented candles, and soaps.

Place: Botanical Gardens

Time: July