The Dominican Republic's Events and Festivals

Festivals in the Dominican Republic celebrate the richness of the local culture and heritage

Photo credit: © Bas Rabeling |

Events in the Dominican Republic

So many events take place each year in the Dominican Republic that outsiders might wonder if life on the island is a non-stop party.

While it is true that the people of the Dominican Republic are a lively bunch, they are also proud of their religion and heritage, which is what many of these festivals celebrate. To truly get a sense of what is important to inhabitants of the island, plan to attend an event or festival during your Dominican Republic vacation.


Cultural Celebrations


Guloya Festival

In January, San Pedro celebrates it's Cuban founding fathers who fled their homelands war during the 19th century. This celebration hosts drummers combing the streets of Miramar along with many other parade excitement. The popularity of this event is not as strong as it once was, but there is still a lot of excitement and celebration in San Pedro.


The Caribbean's ubiquitous Carnival celebration is celebrated in the Dominican Republic each February with parades, street dancing, food festivals, and lots of music.

Semana Santa

Semana Santa is Holy Week. Festivities take place in the week leading up to Easter Sunday. Parades, beauty pageants, and different festivals in each town throughout the country fill the week.

Espíritu Santo

In June the Dominica Republic celebrates Espíritu Santo to honor the island's African heritage with nationwide festivals featuring African music.

Cultural Festival

Concerts, dance troupes, arts and crafts booths, and chefs celebrate Dominican heritage with an annual cultural festival in Puerto Plata each June.

Fiesta Patria de la Restauración

Fiesta Patria de la Restauración, or Restoration Day, celebrates the Dominican Republic's day of independence from Spain, which occurred in 1863. Nationwide events include parades, music festivals, street festivals, and food festivals.

Virgen de Altagracia

Following a religious pilgrimage to Basilica made by many of the locals in January, celebrations and parties are known to erupt all across the Dominica Republic on the 21st. Whether you participate in the religious ceremony or are just a visitor, all are welcome to join in these fun celebrations.


Music Festivals


Festival del Merengue

During the last week of July and first week of August Santo Domingo hosts some of the world's top meringue bands at the Festival del Merengue. Other events during the two week long party include and food festival and an arts and crafts festival.

Puerto Plata Festival

Puerto Plata Festival is a 7 day celebration of Dominican music. The scene becomes live with tribal and spiritual dancers while jazz, blues, and folk music fills the air. Visitors can enjoy a variety of foods from the street vendors, such as delicious jerk meats.

Dominican Republic Jazz Festival jazz musicians and bands.


Another musical event takes placeover 5 days in October during Columbus Day Weekend: the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival. Concerts are held in Puerto Plata, Sosua, and Cabarete, and feature some of the country's top jazz musicians and bands. Food booths are a part of the event as well. The best part about this event is that the concerts are free.


Sporting Events


Cabarete Kite Festival

The town of Cabarete hosts fun events over a week's time, celebrating watersports and the protection of the ocean. Many kitesurfers come to fill up the shore as do surfers. There is also a kiteflying competition hosted.

Cabaret Classic: Annual Wind Cup Windsurfing

Windsurfers from around the world flock to the beaches of Cabarete each July for five days of windsurfing competitions, beach volleyball competitions, numerous concerts, and festivals.

Trisports Summer Fest

In July, Punta Cana hosts the Trisports Summer Fest, which hopes to promote healthy living and the practice of team sports.  Everyone between the ages of six and 99 are welcome to attend and take part in events such as a tridathalon, duatholon, and aquathon. 


Other Events and Festivals


Festivales del Santo Cristo de Bayaguana

On New Years Day, the people of Bayaguana celebrate Festivales del Santo Cristo de Bayaguana. Events leading up to Mass include a parade, music, and dance.

Día de Duarte

Each January the Dominican Republic honors Juan Pablo Duarte with gun salutes in Santo Domingo and numerous carnivals throughout the country. Duerte is celebrated as the man who gained independence from Haiti for the Dominican Republic.

Taste SD

The premier culinary event in the whole of the Caribbean is Taste SD, which takes place in October of each year.  During the event, hundreds of restaurants, food vendors, chefs, and others on the culinary scene host a series of presentations, tastings, and more.  The event stretches out over several days and venues and is known to attract several thousand guests.  The main event, unveiled in 2012, is the Culinary Cup of the Americas in which chefs participate in several cooking and baking events hoping to win the top prize. 

Dominican Republic International Film Festival

For four days each December, independent films, shorts, and documentaries are screened. Each year it is held in Puerto Plata.

There is no better place to learn about Dominican heritage and culture than a local festival. Make the most of your vacation on the island by planning to attend at least one event during your stay.


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