Datebook | Caribbean Events Calendar (July/August 2017)

Events around the Caribbean in July and August, from the Caribbean Premier League to Carifesta XIII in Barbados

  • Photo courtesy CPL T20 Ltd 2017
  • Photo by Altin Osmanaj/
  • Photo by Edison Boodoosingh
  • Photo by Photosounds/
  • Photo by Pack-Shot/
  • Photo by Photosounds/
  • Photo by Jiang Hongyan/
  • Photo by Nikolay Litov/
  • Courtesy Carib Beer

Don’t miss . . .

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Tournament

4 August to 9 September
Venues across the Caribbean and Florida

There’s regular cricket, and then there’s CPL T20. This August and September, the best West Indies cricketers are joining forces with their international counterparts and cranking up the action at the regional tournament. Five teams — the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Barbados Tridents, Trinbago Knight Riders, and St Lucia Stars — will battle to defeat reigning champions the Jamaica Tallawahs. Celebrating its fourth year, CPL promises riveting on-field play and the usual accompaniment of exuberant dance moves in the stands. Some even consider it second best to Carnival!

How to get there? Caribbean Airlines is an official sponsor of CPL 2017, operating flights to most of the venue countries


If you’re in . . .

. . . New York City

Jerk Festival NY
23 July
Roy Wilkins Park, Queens

Ever felt that in order to get authentic Jamaican jerk, you’d have to hop on a plane to Kingston? Maybe the “Jamaican jerk” in your country isn’t quite right? Rest assured, you will get jerk and so much more at New York’s seventh annual Jerk Festival.

The age-old method of cooking spicy cuts of meat attracts over twenty thousand people from all walks of life to celebrate with sizzling entertainment, fashion shows, cultural presentations, and competitions. Winners receive cash prizes and the coveted Dutch Pot Trophy for the Jerk Cook-Off champion — not to mention at least one year’s worth of bragging rights. Check out the kid zone and arts and craft village, too.

Other kinds of food are available, and if you’re going hardcore, here are some tips to help you survive. Start with small servings of spicier dishes and savour them slowly so you don’t overwhelm your taste buds. If you need relief, grab a milkshake, ice cream, chocolate, or something sweet. And don’t stop there: go back to another food station and let your senses lead as you eventually move up the spiciness scale. Be advised, plain water isn’t going to save you. Now, go forth and conquer!


. . . Trinidad and Tobago

Emancipation Day
1 August
Venues around T&T

Before the dew dries on the grass, a drum call and tribute to the ancestors commence Emancipation Day at All Stars Pan Yard in downtown Port of Spain. “Freedom Morning Come”, a re-enactment of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, follows at the old Treasury Building. Afterwards, the footsteps of the procession continue to trail through the city, stopping at historically significant sites including Hell Yard, the site of the Kambulé riots of 1881. The final destination is the Mecca of the Emancipation festivities: the Lidj Yasu Omawale Emancipation Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah, for a full day of activities.

Each year, many thousands across the Caribbean participate in events commemorating the anniversary of the end of slavery in the British West Indies. Heroes and elders are honoured, and generations of African descendents are uplifted. In T&T, the annual commemoration begins with the observance of African Liberation Day (25 May) and runs until August. Awesome entertainment from Africa and its diaspora usually features alongside local acts. But Emancipation is not simply an entertaining festival — it is a living link to those who paved the way.


. . . Barbados

Carifesta XIII
17 to 27 August
Venues around the island

Just days after Barbados’s signature Crop Over festival, the island is hosting the Caribbean Festival of Arts (Carifesta) for the second time in its history. Approximately twenty-three Caribbean and Latin American delegations will marvel in the spirit of the nations through expressions of visual art, music, food, literature, folklore, theatre, and dance. Now in its forty-fifth year, Carifesta continues to be instrumental in fostering the Caribbean’s pride in its capabilities and identities.

And this year, Carifesta is reaching new levels in taking creativity to the market. The traditional Grand Market is being expanded with the introduction of a “mega mall” featuring a wide assortment of the region’s products and attracting retail buyers of creative goods, services, and experiences. The marketplace also includes a music and film hub — and of course it’ll be packed with live performances. Symposiums and two super concerts are also on the programme. “Our artistes have given us this chance, and it is now ours to collectively grab with both hands,” says Barbados culture minister Stephen Lashley.

Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss

Jump into July


Taste of Sint Maarten 

Topper’s Restaurant and Bar, Sint Maarten
Calling all foodies: scrumptious cuisine is being served up in one location by thirty-eight restaurants, with loads of entertainment for the family
2 July


Cultural Festival of Fort-de-France

Various venues around Martinique
The hilly French isle rounds up local and foreign chefs, performers, and artists to showcase their talents
4 to 24 July


Calabash Festival

Boat tours, concerts, and fashion shows stem from an item traditionally used to make household wares, musical instruments, and fashion accessories
16 to 23 July


Commonwealth Youth Games

Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, Nassau
Back in the Caribbean after fifty years, the largest-ever edition of the Youth Games introduces judo, beach soccer, and beach volleyball to the sporting action. Athletes from over seventy nations will vie for medals
19 to 23 July


Mango Festival 

Twenty-five elite varieties of one of nature’s most succulent, refreshing, and delicious fruits star in this culinary festival
30 & 31 July


Already August


Deer Dance Festival

San Antonio, Toledo District, Belize
Dance to the sound of homemade harps and violins, and scale the greasy pole as rituals and stories of the relationship between the Mayan people and their land are re-enacted
1 August


Chocolate Heritage Month

St Lucia
Taste inventive “choc-tails,” bask in chocolate-infused spa treatments, and experience behind-the-scenes tours in chocolate production
1 to 31 August


Summer Festival

In the midst of the Carnival atmosphere and pageantry, take a breather at the boat races on the high seas
3 to 13 August


Great Race

Trinidad and Tobago
The annual speedboat race between the sister isles is not for people who take their time! Get the best vantage point for the action
19 August

Funding provided by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme Direct Support Grants Programme.
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