Antigua events bring out the most inspiring and exciting side of the island and local people, and add an extra burst of local culture to your vacation if you happen to be in town for one. The large number of events in Antigua and Barbuda means each month there are many things to do offering visitors a way to explore local culture, try local foods, and discover what island life is centered around. Festivals in Antigua and Barbuda run the gamut from art exhibitions to sailing regattas to intense cricket matches. Though Antigua showcases festivals and events on a much grander scale, enjoying a local festival on Barbuda can be just as exciting and fun.
Barbuda and Antigua events are classified into three separate categories—sports-related, musical, and traditional. Many festival dates do change from year to year so be sure to check the local calender of events before making plans. There is no separation between islanders and locals when it comes to events in Antigua and Barbuda. The festivals and the way they are celebrated offers a deeper look into the rich history and culture of these two intriguing islands and visitors are invited to explore this element further. Most of the events in Antigua and Barbuda have a fascinating story behind all the celebrating.
Carnival is the biggest, most vibrant, and most exciting of all the events in Antigua and Barbuda. Through a wealth of activities, dancing, music, and more, the tale of slavery's abolition is told. Also called The Great Carnival of Antigua, Carnival is a time when the island reveals its most vibrant colors with ten full days of celebration street-party style. An array of elaborate and dynamic costumes are worn by locals and visitors who dance in the streets along with parades and festival floats. Expect Antigua hotels and resorts, as well as Barbuda hotels, to be booked up. Do make a reservation well ahead of time for both accommodation and dining.
The first quarter of the year is full of Antigua events. Antigua Winter Competition Golf, Jolly Harbor's Antigua Grand Prix Regatta, and the official start of cricket season (a huge deal on the island) kick off the first part of the year. Secondary to the bigger festivals in Antigua and Barbuda, and events that get less recognition but are still excellent, include beach barbeques and bonfires, art tours, yacht races, special brunches, and much more. Keep an ear to the ground and check out the local events calender for details.
From May to August there are numerous public holidays celebrated with gusto including Labor Day, Caricom Day, and Whit Monday. The summer months welcome a host of food fairs featuring local cuisine. The Antigua and Barbuda Power Boat Races is one of the best annual events for boat lovers and held at either Buccaneer Bay or Dickenson Bay where there are two featured races with different categories. Carnival begins at the end of July, and ends in the first week of August.
The last quarter of the year is host to even more events and festivals in Antigua and Barbuda. Four exciting races happen at the Jolly Harbor Annual Regatta in September. Visitors can see colorful national costumes and dress on Heritage Day in October. The Antigua International Hot Air Balloon Festival is a favorite in October as well when bursts of colorful hot air balloons careen through the skies on a backdrop of blue sky and ocean. Independence Day and the Antigua Open golf tournament lead into December when Christmas vacations take over and the island is full of activity. When it's time to welcome in the New Year, the incredible array of festivals in Antigua and Barbuda begin again, each time with a new twist and a new reason to celebrate.