With so many events and festivals taking place throughout the year, it isn't uncommon to hear of one going on during your stay in St. Martin/St. Maarten.
Attending one such event is a great way to experience local culture, sample delicious food, perhaps purchase a few handmade crafts, and learn about what is important to the islanders.
Attending a cultural festival is a great way to learn about the history and heritage of St. Martin/St. Maarten. Not only are there island-wide events that are celebrated on both sides of the island, but many villages have their own festivals that celebrate their founding and what is unique about their little slice of St. Martin/St. Maarten.
Carnaval is an event that occurs throughout the Caribbean, usually in February. The festival is typified by costumed parades, energetic music, jubilant dance, and localized street parties. St. Martin celebrates this event in February, while St. Maarten does so in April.
...celebration of traditional cuisine and daily life...
The Arrowroot Festival is the annual celebration of traditional cuisine and daily life in the village of Columbier on St. Martin. The event takes place in February.
In 2012, a new holiday was announced -- Emancipation Day. This day is to honor the day that black slaves were legally granted freedom on the island. Celebrations take place in various forms throughout the country on this day.
The Sandy Ground Village Festival, which takes place in July or August, features local food and music, as well as crafts booths and lots of activities. Fireworks round out the event.
St. Martin/St. Maarten Day is a family-friendly day in November, celebrating the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus, and all that is special about the dual nation island.
Between the months of December and March, Marigot hosts a street fair each Wednesday or Sunday, featuring local food and music.
Attending a music festival in St. Martin/St. Maarten is always fun. Let the rhythms of the island fill you up with memories that return in an instant any time you hear the songs you heard while on vacation.
Each Tuesday night of January, February, and March, the village of Grand Case in St. Martin features live music and dance. Food and arts and craft vendors also attend the event.
The St. Martin Caribbean Festival is a weekend filled with Caribbean sounds at Sandy Ground's Albéric Richards Stadium. Genres performed include soca, zouk, dancehall, reggae, and calypso.
Local bands come together for a weekend of live music each June.
No matter where you are traveling from, people from around the world are able to appreciate the physicality it takes to participate in professional sports. Support the island's athletes – as well as the foreign athletes who come from around the world to participate in many of these events.
Yachters from around the globe race through the waters of St. Martin and St. Maarten each January.
The Heineken Regatta takes place each March, and brings boats of varying shapes and sizes to St. Martin for the race.
Over 100 international golfers battle it out on the Mullet Bay Golf Course each April.
The St. Martin Billfish Tournament sees regional fishermen compete at catching the largest Billfish possible each May.
Football fans won't want to miss the Soualiga Unity Cup, which takes place in St. Maarten each June.
The Alliance Race is a three-day yachting event that begins in St. Maarten, sees competing yachts sail to St. Barths and Anguilla before returning to St. Martin.
The festivals that don't fall under and particular category are often the most care free and fun. Get out into the streets of St. Martin/St. Maarten, enjoy the atmosphere, and have a great time!
St. Maarten rings in the new year with the celebration of visual and performance arts in Philipsburg. Participating artists are from various locations in the Caribbean, and highlight island culture with vibrant imagery and tropical music (think steel pan bands). Local shops and restaurants participate in the event by operating under extended hours and offering samples of their food. The event lasts through May.
Held every Tuesday evening between January and early April, Mardi de Grand Case is a street festival that draws a fairly large crowd each week. The even includes live music, a parade with people dressed in Carnival garb, local art, and lots of food.
The ArtLovers Open Doors takes place for a weekend each March. Art galleries, studios, and workshops across St. Martin open their doors for public viewing.
The Festival of Laughter is a fun day each May, filled with parades, music, dancing, food, and fun.
In May, the blowing of a Conch shell represents the country’s appreciation for all that the local fishing community has done for the people of St. Martin. Fish Day, which takes place over three days, honors these men and women with a carnival like setting that includes a playground for children, a stage for live entertainment, and over 80 food and vendor booths.
Designers from around the world host runway shows of their latest designs at various venues throughout the island in June.
Various villages play outdoor movies each weekend between the months of July and September.
If you have the opportunity to attend an event or festival during your trip to St. Martin/St. Maarten, make a point to do so. Whether celebrating the island's culture and history, dancing to Caribbean music, wowing crowds with their sports and sailing skills, or just plain having fun, St. Martin/St. Maarten definitely knows how to throw a party.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.