Datebook (November/December 2012)

Events around the Caribbean in November and December

…and raise a toast. Photograph courtesy Caribbean Rum And Beer FestivalGet ready for your close-up. Photograph courtesy Bahamas Tourist BoardGrab a bite…Photograph courtesy Barbados, Food, Wine & Rum FestivalHear the word. Photograph courtesy Spirit of MontserratPirates Week Festival. Photograph courtesy Cayman Free PressTake to the skyWork on your serve. Photograph courtesy beachtennisaruba.com

BARBADOS

Grab a bite…

Come November, chefs across Barbados turn up the temperature for the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival. This annual event, now in its third year, draws local and international foodies to select spots around the island to taste what the culinary greats of Barbados, like Scott Ames and Michael Hinds, along with world-renowned chefs such as Marcus Samuelson, Paul Yellin, Aaron McCargo and Ann Burrell, have to offer. It’s a blend of flavours Barbados is known for: winning the approval of mature connoisseurs while seducing the senses of newer fans. The eclectic menu of events includes a “Late Night at the Beach House,” the sophisticated “Ambrosia III”, and the family-oriented “Bajan Fiesta”, wowing patrons by successfully pairing haute cuisine with top entertainment. Cleare your palate and your schedule for a taste of what’s deliciously hot in Barbados’s culinary scene.

When: 16 to 19 November
Where: Locations across Barbados
For more info: visit www.foodwinerum.com

 


Don’t miss …

Lighting up the streets for Guyana Diwali • Experiencing the work of a Caribbean master at Tate Britain • Dancing along to Jamaican Jonkunnu


 

GRENADA

…and raise a toast

In 2012 the annual Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival goes to Grenada for the first time, as it seeks “to live up to its Caribbean and innovative origin,” according to organiser Cheryl Collymore. She compares the experence to “dropping into a local rum shop where the drinks are flowing, the food unpretentious, and the company is relaxed and friendly.” Over six days, visitors can enjoy rum tours to three Grenadian distilleries, a rum and beer “cook-off,” cocktail demonstrations, and tasting sessions with industry experts. But remember: always have a designated driver if you plan to be the designated taster.

When: 29 October to 3 November
Where: Grenada Cultural Centre, St George’s
For more info: visit www.rumandbeerfestival.com

 


 

ARUBA

Work on your serve

We all know about beach volleyball, especially after the recent London Olympics, and no one thinks twice about a quick game of football or cricket on the beach. But have you ever heard of beach tennis? The Aruba Beach Tennis International Championships is an official International Tennis Federation event, with US$15,000 in prize money up for grabs. The organisers, Beach Tennis Aruba, expect over six hundred players from around the world, ranging in age from six to sixty-nine, with matches on twenty beach tennis courts. Of course there will be bars and a food court close at hand, plus entertainment from live bands and DJs. After the final match on Sunday, everyone gets to party on centre court, with the award ceremony signalling the end of the fun on Monday.

When: 14 to 19 November
Where: Eagle Beach
For more info: visit www.beachtennisaruba.com/international-tournament-2

Aruba in Style
When: 1 to 4 November
Where: Oranjestad
What: A collaboration between the Aruba Tourism Authority and IMG Fashion, this mix of high fashion, celebrities, designers, and trend-setters on a gorgeous island makes the heart of any fashionista skip a beat
For more info: call (297) 582 3777, or check them out on Facebook

 


 

BAHAMAS

Get ready for your close-up

In the Bahamas, December ends with Junkanoo, but it opens with a different kind of spectacle. The Bahamas International Film Festival — or BIFF — showcases the talent of Bahamian filmmakers, says founder Leslie Vanderpool, while allowing visitors to experience an idyllic vacation spot, as well as decide on the Bahamas as a filming location. Watching great movies is the main point, but the programme also includes Q&A sessions with filmmakers, panel discussions to help filmmaking aspirants get started, master classes, and a Filmmaker Residency Programme. And with Hollywood celebs like Johnny Depp, Sean Connery, and Anna Faris attending past festivals, filmgoers can also do some earth-bound stargazing, since you never know who may make an appearance.

When: 6 to 9 December
Where: Atlantis Theatre, Paradise Island; Galleria JFK, Nassau
For more info: visit bintlfilmfest.com

Bahamas Speed Week Revival
When: 24 November to 2 December
Where: Arawak Cay
What: Feed your need for speed by racing your classic car, or simply enjoy the gala concert, beach party, and excursions alongside the racing events
For more info: visit www.bahamasspeedweek.com

 


 

MONTSERRAT

Hear the word

Although Montserrat’s Alliouagana Festival of the Word began in 2009 as a celebration of literature, this year the focus is the spoken word, as the fourth edition of the event takes the form of a film festival. That isn’t too hard to fathom — any moviegoer can tell you dialogue is an integral aspect of any good film. How many of us have left the cinema and quoted our favourite lines to friends and family? With that in mind, Alliougana 2012’s theme is “From Script to Screen”, exploring screenwriting and how important it is to creating great films. And sharp-eyed readers may notice the festival dates have moved from November, allowing a collaboration with the Montserrat Festival Committee to celebrate the 50th annual Christmas Festival. With workshops, free film screenings, and prizes for the annual creative writing competition, there’s something for writers, readers, and viewers alike.

When: 8 and 9 December
Where: Montserrat Cultural Centre
For more info: visit www.litfest.ms

 


 

CAYMAN ISLANDS

Pirates Week Festival
When: 8 to 18 November
Where: Locations in and around George Town
What: The Caymans’ “national festival” celebrates the islands’ buccaneering heritage with a dramatic pirate invasion, costume competitions, underwater treasure hunts, cardboard boat races, and fireworks
For more info: visit www.piratesweekfestival.com

 


 

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival
When: 9 to 11 November
Where: Venues in St John’s
What: After a one-year hiatus, the festival continues its mission to bring readers and authors together, with readings, workshops, book signings, and a special short story competition
For more info: visit antigualitfest.com

 


 

BERMUDA

World Rugby Classic
When: 10 to 17 November
Where: National Sports Centre, Devonshire, Bermuda
What: Ten matches during the week still leave plenty of time for die-hard rugby fans to explore the island, Triangle and all
For more info: visit www.worldrugby.bm

 


 

TOBAGO

Take to the sky

Kite flying is “the thing to do in Tobago at Christmas time,” says Valerie Critten-Stewart, founder of the Flying Colours Kite Festival. Launched in 2000 by the Missouri-born émigré, the event started as a way to give back to the island she now calls home, and quickly gained island-wide support. “There was a line of cars coming into the village that went for a couple of miles,” she recalls. With support from Radio Tambrin and the Tobago House of Assembly’s Departments of Tourism and Sports and Education, the festival includes contests for the Most Massive Kite, Most Artistic, plus Mad Bull, Foreign, and Under-14 categories. Members of the American Kite Flyers come to participate and show local kite-flyers new innovations. Up to a hundred kites are entered for competition, and several hundred more can be seen on the festival day around the island — which is why all eyes are on the sky.

When: 30 December to 6 January
Where: Plymouth Recreation Grounds
For more info: call (868) 639 5428

 


 

ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

Nine Mornings Festival
When: 16 to 24 December
Where: Locations throughout the islands
What: This unique Vincentian Christmas festival features early-morning concerts and parties as well as pre-dawn sea baths and a bread-eating competition
For more info: call the SVG Nine Mornings Committee at (784) 451 2180 or 455 9199, or email emespee@hotmail.com