Events & Festivals

written by | Posted on December 10th, 2013

Parade of Troupes

Parade of Troupes

February

ANNUAL FLOWER AND GARDEN SHOW
February 22-23

Two days of flower displays and competitions including both skilled amateurs and professional florists on the grounds of Wallblake House. Arts and crafts for sale, too.

ANNUAL FASHION EXPO
February 28-March 2

Get up to speed with the emerging fashion trends; three days of essential classes in the model and fashion industry by world-renowned regional and international members of the fashion trade.

March

ANNUAL MOONSPLASH FESTIVAL
March 13-16

Reggae star Bankie Banx produces this music festival at The Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay, and he has the respect and pull to lure an international roster of A-List recording artists.

April

FESTIVAL DEL MAR
April 19-20 (Easter weekend)

A traditional, community-based, 2-day festival featuring all things from the sea. Held on the beach at Island Harbour, activities include fishing tournaments, sunfish sailing, model boat racing, swimming, crab-racing, and the highlight of the proceedings: boatracing, the island’s national sport. Live string band music and delicious seafood delicacies create the backdrop for locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate Anguilla’s maritime heritage.

May

ANGUILLA YACHT REGATTA
May 9-11

Yachts from all over the Caribbean compete against a background of BBQ stands, ice cold libations, and music and partying at bars across Sandy Ground Beach. Anguillian sailing fans, aka “landracers,” keep the momentum high and guarantee a regatta like nowhere else in the Caribbean.

ANGUILLA LIT FEST: A LITERARY JOLLIFICATION
May 22-25

Join readers, writers, and thinkers for three days of workshops, seminars and presentations by celebrated authors, publishers and poets from Anguilla, the Caribbean, and beyond. Past headliners have included Terry McMillan, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Hill Harper, Nikki Giovanni, Judith Curr, Edwidge Dandicat, Toure and more. Readings, receptions, and onstage interviews with audience participation, against the backdrop of Anguilla’s tranquil seascapes.

ANGUILLA DAY
May 30

A national holiday that pays tribute to the May 30, 1967, uprising that eventually led to Anguilla’s status as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom rather than St. Kitts-Nevis, the celebration includes a Round-the-Island Boat Race that leaves from Sandy Ground around 9 a.m. Complementing the race are tennis matches, bicycle races, bands, BBQ, and general good times.

June

WELCHES FEST
June 9

Welches Fest takes place on the ballfield in Welches Village. Starting around 5:30 a.m., visitors can have an old fashioned breakfast of flour pap (porridge) to start their day. All things at this fest are of yesteryear including food, toys, games and music. (5:30 a.m.– 8 p.m.)

CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTHDAY OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
June 17

Pomp and pageantry from a bygone era, as the Royal Anguilla Police Force and various local and international uniformed organizations march smartly to crisp band music around James Ronald Webster Park.

August

ANGUILLA SUMMER FESTIVAL
August 4-11

A unique blend of boatracing activities by day and traditional carnival events by night: Nonstop fun, including carnival processions, pageants, concerts, band and calypso competitions, street dancing, food stalls and boat races. Not to be missed: the Caribbean Beach Party that begins with J’Ouvert (street dancing) from 4 a.m.-10 a.m., followed by the August Monday boatraces from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., and live entertainment and main stage performances by groups from around the Caribbean throughout the day up to 2 a.m. the following morning.

November

TOURISM WEEK
November 30-December 6

Not what it sounds like, Tourism Week focuses on the importance of tourism to Anguilla and celebrates the contribution of individuals to to the tourism sector through the Tourism Gala and Awards. The Valley Street Festival in the People’s Market offers a wonderful opportunity to experience Anguilla’s traditions and heritage. The festival features local music, art and craft, face painting, games, a cycling race for local children, live cultural performances, and great Anguillian food.

Pelican

December

FESTIVAL DE NOEL
December 17-20

Pageantry and sporting competitions on the grounds of the Old East End School. The odds of stumbling upon a good BBQ stand are in your favor.

NATIONAL HERO’S AND HEROINES’ DAY
December 19

Also known as Separation Day, this public holiday honors past and present heroes of the Anguilla Revolution—i.e., the separation from St. Kitts.

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AND LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
December 19-26 (The week before Christmas holidays)

This festival is presented by the Lions Community Club, The Valley. In Anguilla, they light mahogany, not spruce trees, on Coronation Avenue and the old Valley Well area. The event includes great BBQ, live performances and local music.

CHRISTMAS EVE AND DAY
December 24/25

It’s always a good experience to attend church services in Anguilla, but not surprisingly, these services are special. Expect a full house.

BOXING DAY
December 26

An official holiday that has nothing to do with fisticuffs and everything to do with the British heritage.

 


Fast Facts

Location: Anguilla lies about 200 miles east
of Puerto Rico and five miles north of
St. Maarten/Martin.

Climate: Daily highs tend to be in the 80s, and rainfall is fairly sparse. The only reliably rainy month is October, when quite a few of the hotels and villas are closed.

Population: The latest census figures (2011) show Anguilla’s population to be a bustling 13,037. Most of the population is of African descent.

Language: English. Spanish is also spoken throughout.

Getting There: Anguilla is easily accessible from the major gateway cities of the U.S. and Canada with flights directly into Anguilla (AXA), connecting via San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU). Alternately, visitors can fly from the mainland into St. Maarten (SXM), transferring to Anguilla via a commuter flight of seven minutes, or a short ferry ride of 30 minutes. Private charters by sea or air are also available from St. Maarten/St. Martin. Private jet service directly to Anguilla, or via connections in St. Kitts, Tortola or St. Maarten is another option for consideration.  For more information, see our “Getting To Anguilla” section.

Getting Around: Car, jeep, and bike rentals are available on Anguilla, as are taxis.

Entry Documents: Passport required for U.S. and Canadian citizens; must be valid up to six months beyond leaving the country. No visa required for stays up to 90 days.

Country Telephone Code: 264.

Time Zone: Clocks are one hour ahead of clocks on the east coast of the United States in winter, but in summer, when North America is following Daylight Savings Time, Anguilla—which does not reset its clocks—is the same time as the east coast of the United States.

Electric Current: 110 volts, as in North America.

Money Matters: While the Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the official currency of Anguilla, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted across the island. Approximate exchange rate: US$1 = $2.6882 XCD.

Departure Tax: $23 (cash)

Contact Information: (264) 497-2759;   ivisitanguilla.com