Antigua carnivals, festivals, special events Barbuda

Antigua Barbuda Carnival, Festivals & Special Events

On this page discover Antigua Barbuda carnival, festivals, special events, and when to party…
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Antigua Barbuda special events throughout the year

Caribbean carnivals are vibrant and colourful. The Main Antigua Barbuda carnival takes place over a ten day period, starting at the end of July. There is a parade of bands, talent shows, steel band competitions and beauty pageants. Expect costumes full of colour and lots of music – calypso, steel drum and Soca – and lots of partying. There’s a lot going at a local level on at the same time as the Antigua carnival such as parades and concerts, food markets and cultural shows.

Carnivals in the Caribbean are renowned for their vibrant music and colour. As most, but not all, of the Caribbean major festivals are of a religious nature they take place prior to Lent and finish Ash Wednesday. Costumes made for carnivals are spectacular, taking months of work. Work often begins on the following year’s costumes as soon as the current year’s carnival is over, especially in Trinidad & Tobago – the biggest carnival in the Caribbean.

Antigua Sailing Week is the island’s most important and spectacular event. This regatta takes place at Nelson’s Dockyard, a very scenic location. This regatta is considered one of the world’s top sailing events and has attracted up to 250 yachts in the past, and thousands of spectators. In recent years around 100 yachts compete.

There are a number of special events, not of a carnival nature, which also take place throughout the year. Below is a list of the major and most popular Aruba carnivals and festivals as well as the major special events.

Antigua Barbuda Carnival & Festivals

  • Antigua & Barbuda Kite Festival (Easter weekend)
  • Seafood Festival (April)
  • Antigua Carnival (July/August) – A ten-day festival of colorful costumes, beauty pageants, talent shows, and great music
  • Barbuda Carabana (May)

Special Events in Antigua and Barbuda

  • Antigua Sailing Week (April/May)
  • Independence Day (Nov)
  • Antigua & Barbuda International Cricket Fest (Nov)
  • Antigua weekly jump-up at Shirley Heights overlooking English Harbour (Sunday nights) – steel bands, BBQ, great sunsets

Carnivals and events in other Caribbean countries

As well as the St Lucia carnival and festivals do check out what’s going on in other destinations, country by country, on the Caribbean Carnivals page in the Discover section.

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