Event buzz (May/Jun 2023)

Essential info about what’s happening across the region in May and June!

  • Photo by Sea Wave/Shutterstock.com
  • Photo courtesy Discover Dominica Authority
  • Photo courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority
  • Photo by Shaikh Meraj/Shutterstock.com
  • Photo courtesy Frogfish Wreck Diving
  • Photo courtesy Rainbow Warriors Triathlon Club
  • Photo courtesy Rally Barbados

Don’t miss

Grenada’s Chocolate Festival (16–21 May) is a chocolate lover’s dreamland. Almost all the cocoa produced here ranks among the best in the world, and all the Spice Island’s main cocoa and chocolate producers participate in the festival. You can walk or dance the cocoa to help ensure the beans dry evenly; explore cocoa farms; make your own chocolate from tree to bar; discover the joy of chocolate-themed dinners and parties; and learn about the health benefits of chocolate via hands-on workshops, meditation sessions and beauty treatments. Make sure to visit the House of Chocolate (museum and emporium) too. But the best gift or souvenir you can take away may just be the chocolate bar you expertly made at the festival — once you don’t devour it before you return home!

Festival time

The entire month of May is extra special in Dominica. For the first three Saturdays, all eyes — and feet — are on its renowned hiking trails for Hike Fest. Are you up for the challenge of the Waitukubuli National Trail (approximately 115 miles from the northern to southern end of Dominica)? Or maybe you’d like to tackle the Morne Trois Pitons National Park? And while you’re in the Nature Isle, enjoy DOMFESTA, which features the national song competition, art exhibitions, drama, theatrical performances, and more.

St Lucia’s creative industries connect in a splendid showcase at St Lucia’s Jazz & Arts Festival (5–14 May). Now in its 30th year, it kicks off with Shenseea and Kes the Band, followed by a stellar line-up including Buju Banton, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, Rema, Ayra Starr, CKay, Kizz Daniel, and pianist and composer Gustavo Casenave.

What do Restaurant Week (7–21 May) and a Sport Fishing Tournament (27–28 May) have in common? The energising atmosphere and hospitality of idyllic Antigua, of course — and copious amounts of seafood!

Thousands of enthusiastic revellers, stilt-walkers, acrobats and limbo dancers parade through the streets to soca music at Cayman Carnival Batabano (6 May). Batabano (pronounced BAH-tuh-buh-nu) refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest — a nod to Cayman’s commitment to turtle conservation. The following week, indulge yourself at the Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival (13 May).

Fearless mountain bikers complete thrilling circuits at the Tobago M2B Madness (6–7 May). Seek out the best vantage points to take in the action while enjoying the event’s festive, family-friendly energy. 

Carnival chasers, soca fanatics, staunch fete attendees. Hear ye, hear ye! More fun, rhythm, and vibes await at The Bahamas Carnival (18–21 May), Barbuda Caribana (29 May–2 June), and St Vincent’s Vincy Mas (30 June–11 July)!

The Barbados Celtic Festival (18–21 May) reconnects Bajans with their rich Celtic history through food and music. World Solo Piping Champion Roddy MacLeod (MBE) will dazzle audiences alongside other pipers and drummers in the signature massed band parade.

Take in diverse literary voices — some with roots in Jamaica and others from around the world — as Jamaica’s Calabash Literary Festival returns (26–28 May). Readings highlighting outstanding literary work have brought talents like Edwidge Danticat, Kei Miller, Marlon James, Caryl Phillips, and Linton Kwesi Johnson to the festival’s thatch-covered stage overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Enjoy historical re-enactments, performances, edutainment, and delicious Indian cuisine as communities commemorate the arrival — starting in the 1830s — of indentured immigrants from India to the region during Arrival Day celebrations in Guyana (5 May), Trinidad & Tobago (30 May), and Suriname (5 June). 

Diving in Grenada, the “shipwreck capital of the Caribbean”, is extraordinary and the Grenada Dive & Conservation Festival (29 May–5 June) also presents a wonderful opportunity to engage in conservation conversations. You can also learn about Grenada’s artificial and coral reef projects, participate in turtle-watching and lionfish hunting, plus volunteer for a beach clean-up — all leading up to World Environment Day (5 June). 

Eleuthera Pineapple Festival (2–3 June) showcases its most commonly-known produce. There will be live local Bahamian entertainment, dishes made with pineapple, and plenty more keeping tastebuds satisfied.

T&T Bioblitz (3–4 June) returns to Tobago for its first in-person event since the pandemic began, taking important surveys of the island’s rich marine biodiversity in areas like Store Bay, Pigeon Point, Bon Accord, and Mt Irvine.

Curaçao Pride (7–12 June) features parties and a range of activities celebrating the LGBTQIA community. 

Feed your need for speed at Rally Barbados (10–11 June). Top local race car drivers like Zane Maloney (Barbados) and international drivers like Haydon Paddon (New Zealand) stir up some dust in challenging public road and off-road courses.

Tobago’s Rainbow Cup Tobago (10 June) features a sprint distance triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, and many other events such as a 5k run, team relay triathlon, and kids triathlon.

An impressive roster of stars and legends from several genres are set to perform at the St Kitts Music Festival (22–24 June) in a magical music extravaganza.

Linden, the second largest city in Guyana, is the only town where a main river (the Demerara) passes through — dividing the town in half. A wide array of family-oriented sporting, religious and entertainment activities during the Linden Riverfront Festival (30 June–3 July) offer a peek at its aqua-tourism potential.

Funding provided by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme Direct Support Grants Programme.
The views expressed on this website are those of the the authors and do not reflect those of the Direct Support Grants Programme.