Caribbean Datebook (May/June 2014)

Your guide to Caribbean events in May and June — from Vincy Mas to a comic book convention in Puerto Rico

Photograph by Bill MortleyPhotograph by Corey Reece/zhaust.comSaint Martin Billfish TournamentSkinny Fabulous. Photograph by Teeography

St Lucia

Groove to the rhythm

Twelve days. Over fifty entertainers and artists. One of the Caribbean’s loveliest landscapes for a backdrop. The St Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, now in its twenty-third year, combines St Lucian culture with music from around the world to create something unique, upholding its reputation as the premier jazz destination in the Caribbean. Along for the ride are musicians like Barbadian Alison Hinds, T&T’s Alternative Quartet, Jamaican Barrington Levy, Cuban Omar Sosa, Nigerian identical twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye, and St Lucian Teddyson John. It comes to a climax on 11 May with Grammy Award-winning American R&B singer Maxwell headlining on the main stage at Pigeon Island National Landmark, along with the Commodores and Tessanne Chin, among others.

When: 30 April to 11 May
Where: venues around St Lucia
For more info: visit stluciajazz.org and www.jazzinthesouth.org

 

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Show me your worst behaviour

Looking for some joie de vivre with a Vincentian flavour? Vincy Mas has its official launch on May 3, beginning more than two months of celebrations for Carnival lovers. Numerous events lead up to the two main days of revelry: the Miss SVG competition on 31 May; Fantastic Friday on 27 June; Junior Carnival on 28 June; the steelband competition Steel and Glitter on 3 July; or the Soca Monarch competition on 5 July. All this culminates with Dimanche Gras on 6 July, J’Ouvert on 7 July, and Mardi Gras the following day. Carnival is nothing without music, so listen out for the voices of Jamesy P, Kevin Lyttle, Bomani, Fya Empress, Problem Child, and Skinny Fabulous (interviewed in this issue).

When: 27 June to 8 July
Where: venues around St Vincent
For more info: visit www.carnivalsvg.com

 

Atlanta

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival
When: 24 May
Where: near the Civic Centre MARTA station
What: T&T Carnival has crossed the pond in all directions, finding new homes wherever the Caribbean diaspora took root. The city of Atlanta is no different. At the parade of the bands and festival village, spectators can expect to see new interpretations of old traditions
For more info: visit www.atlantacarnival.org

 

Antigua

Antigua Tennis Week
When: 10 to 17 May
Where: Curtain Bluff Resort
What: An international pro-am tennis festival, where greats like international tennis Hall of Famer “Fiery” Fred Stolle and former Aussie champions Ross Case and Owen Davidson will be right there with you as you improve your forehand
For more info: visit www.curtainbluff.com/tennis/events.html

 

US Virgin Islands

Captain Morgan Ironman 70.3
When: 4 May
Where: St Croix
What: A 1.24-mile swim in Christiansted Harbour, followed by a fifty-six-mile bike ride across the island, ending with a 13.1-mile run means you get to experience the whole of St Croix one scenic route at a time. And with part of the racecourse nicknamed “the Beast,” only the toughest can survive
For more info: visit www.stcroixtriathlon.com

 

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Comic Con
When: 24 to 25 May
Where: Puerto Rico Convention Centre
What: Ever wanted to dress up as Spiderman, Wonder Woman, or some other comic book hero? At Puerto Rico Comic Con, cosplay is encouraged, comic books are everywhere, and your inner child can come out and play
For more info: visit www.prcomiccon.com

 

Barbados

Feel the speed

Hailed as the Caribbean’s biggest annual motorsport event, Sol Rally Barbados celebrates its twenty-fifth year in 2014. What began as a one-day rally back in 1990 has grown in prestige, number of entries, and excitement. With fifteen classes and twenty-four stages, this open-road tarmac rally opens with the Scrutineering and Scotiabank King of the Hill events, helping both international and local competitors get a feel for the road and expected race-day conditions. And spectators don’t just twiddle their thumbs till race-day — the Barbados Rally Club also has several social events planned, even as you tweak your engines or plan the best spots to watch the cars whizz by.

When: 31 May to 1 June
Where: venues around Barbados
For more info: visit www.rallybarbados.bb

 

St Martin

St Martin Billfish Tournament
When: 10 to 14 June
Where: Marina Fort Louis
What: Using a catch-and-release system, anglers follow IGFA rules and regulations, as they vie for US$100,000 in cash and prizes. Up for grabs are prizes for the heaviest fish, best angler, and the blue marlin release prize
For more info: visit www.billfish-tournament.com

 

Bonaire

Kite Ride Bonaire
When: 17 to 22 June
Where: Atlantis Beach
What: This kite-surfing freestyle competition doesn’t have a jury. The fourteen riders have to come up with the best tricks to impress each other, as they choose the winner from among themselves — giving new meaning to keeping a close eye on the competition. With sea, sun, BBQ parties, a forty-kilometre long-distance classic, and a hangtime showdown, there’s a little excitement for everyone
For more info: visit www.kiteridebonaire.com