If the word ‘vacation’ gives you a sudden yearning for calypso beats, exotic eats and dancing in the streets, then consider lining up your next family holiday with one of this summer’s many Caribbean food, music, sport and dance festivals. You’ll find lots of free activities, evening entertainment and, since it’s summer, great value lodging at the smaller resort hotels. Check each festival’s website for partner hotel and resort packages.
Bermuda Sports & Harbor Festivals
As part of its ‘Sizzling Summer’ program, Bermuda is hosting a range of free events that highlight the island’s vibrant culinary and music scene. On Harbour Nights, scheduled regularly throughout the summer, guests can revel in street music, festivities and late night shopping, while Bermuda Nights in Barr’s Bay Park offer samplings of local cuisine, musical performances and stunning views of Hamilton Harbor. Cricket fanatics will love Bermuda’s Cup Match Summer Splash (August), which features cricket matches, picnics, beach parties and community gatherings, and wraps up with the Non-Mariners’ Cruise, a water raft party of epic proportions involving anything that floats.
British Virgin Islands Independence Festival
From two weeksstarting in late July, the British Virgin Islands celebrate nearly 180 years of independence with their annual Emancipation Festival. The cultural event showcases the islands’ rich history in grand style, with local and international music extravaganzas, pageants, food fairs, street jamming, parades, gospel celebrations and folklore presentations.
Belize Food Festivals
Belize kicks of its summer season with a round of royal celebrations for the king of the crustaceans: the lobster. In late June, the San Pedro Lobster Festival features a vibrant display of dishes and dances held in honor of the lobster. The crustacean theme continues the following week with the Placencia Lobster Festival and Caye Caulker Lobster Festival, which include activities such as a fishing tournament, bicycle race, live music, drinks and – you got it – more lobster! Later in November, the country’s signature culinary event, Taste of Belize, showcases the work of local cake decorators and bartenders, and features cook-offs between professional chefs from hotels throughout Belize.
Puerto Rico Festivals All Summer Long
Smaller culinary and music events throughout Puerto Rico include the South Culinary Festival at Dora Colón Clavell Urban Park every second Friday of the month at Ponce, and the Al Fresco Gastronomic Event on the last Friday of every month at Paseo de las Artes, Caguas.
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