Anguilla Carnival is the ultimate holiday on the island. Also know as Anguilla’s “Summer Festival” carnival begins in late July continue through the first week in the month of August.
The fire works on the opening night marks the beginning of the festivities. You are treated to music from the local bands on opening night and you get a taste of what you will experience in the week to come.
The week of the Carnival there are many events and shows that you just cannot miss. Events such as the prince and princess and the junior calypso show which features the creative talents of Anguilla’s up and coming youth.
Many of the events are held at the night in the Landsome Bowl Culture Center. Local bands compete in the “Band Clash” for a cash prize a few nights before the biggest event of the festivities which is August Monday.
Every first Monday of the month of August features one of the biggest events of the Carnival. Put simply August Monday is the heart of the Carnival. Starting as just the celebration of the island main sport boat racing, August Monday has evolved into something much bigger of the Carnival festivities. See featured photo at the top
In the wee hours of the morning on August Monday you will see the roads being filled as the people come out to participate in “Jouvert Morning”. This is the street jam where the local bands competing for the coveted “Road March Title” go head to head. Each band has a float with a sound system. The event begins at 5am and last until around 10am in the morning. It begins in the valley and ends in Sandy Ground. Its open to anyone to attend so if you feel like it you can join in on the fun.
Each band releases music at the beginning of Carnival and this same music captivates the crowds as they escape the sound systems on that morning.
When the Jouvert is over the day does not end there, the party continues in Sandy Ground for the beach party. At the beach party big name Caribbean performers come to entertain the crowds way past midnight. There is a variety of food on the beach and people to meet. Its easy to get lost on this day in the culture of Anguilla.
While on the beach you can see dozens of docked party boats all along the beach. All evening the beach is filled to capacity with people, food and drinks.
August Thursday is the second biggest day of the week. On that day there is a boat race that starts in Meads Bay. All day the beach is filled with people, music and food until the boats get back. Be sure to walk with an umbrella as the sun could get a bit hot at times.
August Thursday continues and climaxes with The Miss Anguilla Queens Pageant. This is the show that most look forward to and is one of the biggest nights of pageantry in the whole summer festival. The show consists of several constants who showcase their talents and intellectual ability in hopes to become the next “Queen” of Anguilla.
Parade of Troupes
On Friday is the Parade of Troupes. The different villages form their own troupes and dance in their colorful costumes along the streets of the Valley. The different troupes decorate the streets in their vibrant colors and parade to the carnival village where they will be judged and the winner will get the main prize. On Sunday the festivities come to a close with a closing ceremony with the winners of the various events announced.
Carnival is one of the most festive times on the island and people from all over the Caribbean come to take part in it. If you have not been a part of this colorful and lively event make sure that you include it in your plans for your next visit to Anguilla it will be one of your most memorable experienced on the island.