5 Of The Best Festivals Celebrated In St Lucia

5 Of The Best Festivals Celebrated In St Lucia

March 6th, 2018, Posted by travelwith2ofus

There are many festivals in the Caribbean. These include rum, food, music and even chocolate festivals. Each Caribbean island has a host of events that are both unique and definitely worth checking out.

The music festivals of the Caribbean are legendary and they attract visitors from all over the world. There are many well-established Caribbean food festivals as well. Carnival is also one of most popular attractions for many visitors. Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Vincent, Antigua and Barbuda, Martinique, Grenada and St Lucia are some of the noteworthy celebrations.

The interesting thing about festivals in the Caribbean is that each one comes with its own flavor, its own uniqueness. St Lucia, for example has one of the most visited music festivals, but that is not all the island has to offer.

Some of its most notable attractions include Rodney and Marigot Bays, the Soufrière volcano and the capital Castries, where you will find a host of places to visit. Add scintillating music, to its many beautiful locations, tasty local cuisine and the warmth of the St Lucian people and you have a Caribbean festival that is unique in many ways to that island.

St Lucia is host to five festivals that will definitely pique the interest of visitors to the island. The festivals are the St Lucia Food and Rum Festival, the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, St Lucia Carnival, the Roots and Soul Festival and the Arts and Heritage Festival.

View of the breathtaking Marigot Bay.
Marigot Bay, St Lucia

St Lucia Food and Rum Festival

The St Lucia Food and Rum Festival started in 2006, was cancelled in 2009 and was re-branded and re-started in 2013. The festival is a three-day event celebrating and showcasing the unique cuisine and rum of the island and region.

Like many of the Caribbean Islands the cuisine of St Lucia is influenced by the culture of the French, British, Indian and African. The 2018 edition saw the introduction of its first Caribbean Rum Awards, which had rum aficionados from the Caribbean and around the world judge some of the regions finest rums.

One of the features of the food festival is the visit and participation by international chefs. Past festival featured celebrated chefs like Art Smith, Robert Oliver, Doran Payne, Eoghain O'Neill and Marcus Samuelsson (2018 edition). Local and regional chefs are also on show.

The 2018 re-branded event culminated at the Pigeon Island National Landmark with participants including chefs, rum makers and restaurateurs presenting delectable dishes. The final day of the event featured cooking demonstrations, rum tastings and sampling booths. Food goes great together with music and performances by St Lucia artist Teddyson John and R&B crooner Freddie Jackson made the event complete.

The St Lucia Food and Rum Festival is the first event to kick off the five events. It is now held in January.

Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival

Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is one of the Caribbean's best-known music festivals. It has been around since 1991, which makes it the oldest as well. Formerly known as the St. Lucia Jazz Festival it features both international and local performers.

While music is the main element of the festival, culinary arts, dance, theatre and Couture fashion have also been included.

Held in different locations around the island including Pigeon Island National Landmark and the Rudy John Beach it has featured many top international, regional and local acts including Hugh Masekela, Ziggy Marley, Gipsy Kings, R. Kelly Akon, Ronald 'Boo' Hinkson, The O'Jays, Tito Puente Jr., Maxwell, Herbie Hancock, Santana, UB40, Lauryn Hill, Rihanna, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Teddyson John.

The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is held around May.

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St Lucia Carnival

There is nothing like a Caribbean carnival. While a bit smaller than Trinidad and Tobago's carnival, the vibes is not small in any way at all. Like other festivals in the Caribbean this too has a plethora of events during the month leading up to the final days.

Some of the main events including Calypso and Party monarchs, parties and more parties, Calypso tents and of course the carnival parade of the bands, which brings the event to a climax.

If you want to get a true Carnival experience, then you definitely have to join one of the carnival bands, jump and wave and wine (wine - the Caribbean art of gyrating one's waist, especially to Soca music. Not the kind you drink) and have fun.

If you don't get enough on Carnival Monday, have no fear you can jump again on Carnival Tuesday. On Wednesday you will probably be tired so you can head to the beach and relax, or maybe stay in bed until ...

St Lucia Carnival is held around June and July

Costumed masqueraders enjoy parade of the bands during St Lucia's Carnival. Photo Credit: Saint Lucia Tourist Board
St Lucia Carnival

Roots and Soul Festival

The Roots and Soul Festival is a new venture under the new SOLEIL Saint Lucia Summer Festival branding. It was held for the first time in 2017 and featured performances by R&B singer Musiq Soulchild and reggae artists Christopher Martin and Etana.

The aim of the festival is to showcase new trends in several genre of music including R&B, Afro-punk, Reggae and conscious hip-hop. Master classes and meet-and-greet sessions between musicians and other music industry professionals, record labels, online music stores and music industry journalists are other highlights of the event.

The event features a combination of free and paid concerts which are held at different locations throughout the island.

The Roots and Soul Festival is held in late August early September.

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Sandals St Lucia

Arts & Heritage Month

The St Lucia Arts & Heritage event is a month-long celebration focusing on Saint Lucia's cultural, artistic and ethnic richness, diversity and heritage. Participants are treated to a host of events including musical and theatrical as well as lectures and seminars and a mixture of culinary experiences. Street parties and art exhibitions are also highlights of the festival.

The event culminates on International Creole Day (Jounen Kweyol), which is the celebration of the French/African dialect of the island. Creole Day features a host of activities, which includes creole food, music and games.

Art-related activities focusing on individuals who have helped to forge the identity of Saint Lucia are among other highlights of the Arts & Heritage Month of celebrations. Those include visual and folk artists, dancers, writers, musicians and actors.

Arts & Heritage Month is usually held during the month of October.

Colourfully dressed for Creole Day celebrations. Photo Credit: Saint Lucia Tourist Board
Ganville Island, Vancouver

Have you ever visited any of these five festivals? Let is know about your experience?

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