Grenada borrows many cultural traditions and societal norms from English and French customs. Many of the country's annual events and festivals reflect this by centering around people coming together, throwing a huge party, and eating lots of great food.
Though the events and festivals typically fall into three categories, cultural, musical, and sports, the majority of events on Grenada seem to be boat races and regattas.
Carnival is the Caribbean's signature celebration. Usually, it takes place at the beginning of the year, around lent, but on Grenada the celebration occurs in August. Carnival is an exuberant, colorful event filled with costumed parades and island music. Carriaco, meanwhile, does hold its Carnival in March. Events here include a parade, a children's carnival, a calypso king contest, and a competition for the king and queen of bands.
The Maroon Festival is a cultural and educational event on Carriacou, honoring African heritage through drumming, singing, and food. This festival takes place in April.
...drummers and dance groups from around the world...
Live performances by drummers and dance groups from around the world seek to promote the importance of African drumming at the Grenada Drum Festival. The March event features performances and workshops.
Parang music is a type of folk music that originated on Trinidad and Tobago, out of the islands' Hispanic community. The Carriacou Parang Festival takes place in Hillsborough just before Christmas, and features a series of parang concerts and dances.
Organized by the Grenada Yacht Club, January's Spice Island Billfish Tournament is a four day tag-and-release fishing tournament. All fishing competitions take place over three days, while special events take place on land.
At the end of January or beginning of February, visitors can attend one of Grenada's most popular events, the Grenada Sailing Festival. The event lasts for four days and features boat races, kayak races, street carnivals, live entertainment, a fashion show, and fireworks.
On top of the three major boat races that take place during the South Grenada Regatta in February, the event also features live music and a beach barbecue.
The Round the Island Race is a yacht race that takes place each March. Competitors start and finish in St. George's Harbour, where on shore events are taking place, such as beach side family activities, barbecues, and cocktail parties.
Classic Yachts are classified as such once that hit the 200-year-old age mark. The Grenada Classic Yacht Regatta is unique because each boat that sets sail has a unique history. The grandfather ships set sail each March.
In June, the town of Guoyave celebrates the birthdays of St. Peter and St. Paul with a blessing of the town's boats and an afternoon of boat races.
Locally built work boats race around the island of Carriacou in July or August, while regatta-goers on land participate in wet t-shirt contests, donkey races, and more.
Five classes of races take place on Carriacou over a week long period in November. As the races are going on, there are beach parties, live entertainment, and fetes to keep landlubbers entertained.
Each Friday in Gouyave hosts a fish fry of the days catches. Everyone is welcome.
In August, the streets of Grenville come alive with the Rainbow City Festival. Craft and food booths, live music, and tours of local historic sites typify this event.
As the chocolate industry has grown on Grenada over the years, it has become an important part of the local culture and economy. Begining in 2014, August will be the time to celebrate the local cocoa crop and all that can be made from it. The festival spans a week and features such events as cooking demonstrations and lessons, tastings, showcases of other products that come from cocoa that are not edible, and tours of estates that produce cocoa.
Though there is a heavy emphasis on sailing events on Grenada, visitors have plenty of other options to choose from. From music festivals to the Caribbean's ubiquitous Carnival (which visitors can experience twice on Grenada!) there is never a dull moment in the Spice Islands.
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