2005 ISLAND CALENDAR
Creole Heritage Month - October
Highlighting October as Creole Heritage Month is all a part of our cultural re-birth, and an attempt to recover and remember our past. Therefore, the Folk Research Centre, a non-governmental organization established in 1973 to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of St. Lucia, organizes a series of events throughout the month to create this mass consciousness. Several communities are selected each year to host an activity which culminates at the end of October with the grand celebration of International Creole Day or Jounen Kweyol, a worldwide celebration by all countries that speak the Creole language. Call the Folk Research Centre at 452-2279 for the full programme of activities.
Feast of La Marguerite - October
One of two local flower festivals which gives a voice to a time in our turbulent past. - A group of people come together as 'Marguerites' and present themselves as the gentry, opposing the belief structure of the other flower festival - La Rose. The roots of this festival lie in extreme social satire, dating back to a time when St. Lucia was a British colony. Named after St. Marguerite Alacoque, this local flower society celebrates its patron saint's feast day with indigenous songs and dances that have been handed down throughout the centuries from generation to generation. Activities are held throughout the island.
Rotary Club of Gros Islet Golf Tournament - November
A one day Tournament from which all proceeds go to charitable club projects. To find out more about the auctioning of teams for this year's event, contact Ken Lalsingh from the Rotary Club of Gros Islet (451 6369). If you are interested in participating as a player or as a sponsor, he will be pleased to provide you with up to date information.
Festival of Lights and Renewal - December
This day was celebrated in the past as Discovery Day. Much has changed however, and now St. Lucians look forward to what has become the annual switching on of the Christmas lights and the accompanying Lantern Competition. This has become an arena for intense creativity and local artistic expression. Visitors are welcome to sample these elements that are representative of our rich heritage.
ARC - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers - December
St. Lucia welcomes the world's largest trans-Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Over 200 boats leave Gran Canaria around November 25th to rendezvous on Simply Beautiful St. Lucia. The first yacht usually completes the crossing in the first week of December. If you are contemplating a sea-worthy adventure, and have never taken part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, contact our Tourist Board for details. Log on at www.stlucia.org or email email@example.com. Incidentally, this is an interesting way to vacation in St. Lucia. Start the race in Gran Canaria, and finish in the tranquil waters of the Caribbean, where St. Lucia awaits you. If your time schedule allows, you might even plan for a warm Christmas here in the sun and then head on back home to reality!
St. Lucia Open - December
The St. Lucia Racquet club at Cap Estate hosts this event that is open to all amateur tennis and squash players. Call the St. Lucia Racquet Club at 450 0106 for more information.
Independence Day - February
This is a landmark in our development as it marks the anniversary of St. Lucia's independence from Great Britain. While our economy cannot realistically be separated from matters that affect the world economies, as a people, we govern our own affairs, and as such, this day is marked by various celebrations held islandwide. This is a wonderful occasion where you can immerse yourself in our culture as a number of the events really pay tribute to things cultural. If you are already on island during these celebrations, ask at your hotel for more information about how you can become more involved.
Lions Club Independence Charity Tournament - February
A one-day tournament held at the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club at Cap Estate. The event is open to everyone who wishes to compete for the Prime Minister's Cup. Proceeds are donated to charity.
Festival of Comedy - March
St. Lucia has always been well known for its friendly people. It is no wonder therefore, that through the efforts of the St. Lucia National Trust, some of the best Local and Caribbean storytellers and comedians converge here toward the end of March, to entertain audiences and leave them with bellies full of laughter. This is another fine opportunity to plan to come to St. Lucia, and you can certainly add this item on your itinerary. This festival is the annual fundraiser of the St. Lucia National Trust.
International Earth Day - April
World wide, one of the more compelling issues is conservation and preservation of the environment. In St. Lucia, we show our respect for our environment by keeping the consciousness alive through special activities on International Earth Day. The St. Lucia National Trust is in the forefront of these activities, which normally begins with the Soleil Lévé (sunrise) ceremony and ends with the Soleil Couché (sunset) ceremony. Call the St. Lucia National Trust at 452-5005 if you want to contribute to or be a part of this activity.
St. Lucia Jazz Festival - May
With big names like the Herbie Mann Quintet and the Michael Brecker Quartet, Yolanda Adams, Ashford & Simpson, and Earth Wind & Fire, you sell yourself short unless you plan to visit St. Lucia, recently voted by readers of Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine as the Caribbean's Second Best Undiscovered Destination. With its special brand of natural beauty, and the strains of music guaranteed to soothe your heart and soul, we believe that you should be a part of the next St. Lucia Jazz Festival. Log on at www.sluciajazz.org for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Lucia Golf Open - June
This two-day golf tournament is held at the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club. It is open to all amateurs. Players come from all over the Caribbean to participate. The OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) team will be selected at this match. This team goes on to play at the Caribbean championships. This is a handicap event with prizes for gross and net scores.
Carnival - June & July
We like to think of this as the greatest show on our cultural calendar, as it encompasses one month of solid entertainment. Our writers, composers, singers and musicians release their energy in biting social commentary through their entertaining calypso selections. The action begins in the "tents" where each calypso receives its baptism by fire, and some move on to the next level of competition, leading to the final show - the best of the best in the Calypso Finals where judges decide on the Calypso Monarch and or the Soca Monarch titles. But while all of this is happening, the mass camps come alive with the sounds of steel pan music as preparations begin for the Carnival pageant, which culminates in two glorious days of delicious fun. Plan your holiday at that time, and feel free to visit calypso tents or ask at your hotel about opportunities for "jumping" with a band. The full programme is available from the Cultural Development Foundation. You can call 452 1859 for more information or log on to www.stluciacarnival.com for more information.
Kids Golf Camp - July
The St. Lucia Golf and Country Club offers a weeklong coaching programme for children between the ages of 6 and 13. Golf lessons take place in the morning and lunch is included. The places are limited to 20 children, so sign up early.
Emancipation Day and National Heroes Day - August
August 1st is an international holiday when St. Lucians, along with certain other former British colonies, celebrate the Abolition of Slavery in 1838.
La Rose Festival - August
This is the second of two local flower festivals which gives a voice to a time in our turbulent past. - A group of people come together and present themselves as the gentry, in this instance, an opposing faction to the La Marguerites. The roots of this festival lie in extreme social satire, dating back to a time when St. Lucia was a British colony. Named after St. Rose de Lima, this local flower society celebrates its patron saint's feast day with indigenous songs and dances that have been handed down throughout the centuries from generation to generation. Activities are held throughout the island.
Market Feast - August
Held at the Castries Market, the fruit and vegetable vendors 'fete' their special day. There is musical entertainment and plenty of food and drinks.
St. Lucia Bill Fishing Tournament - September
A three day competition for Anglers from all over the Caribbean. The Blue Marlin is the most sought-after fish and everyone is out trying to set new records. Undersized fish, weighing less than 250 lbs., are tagged and returned to the sea. The weighing station is at Rodney Bay and all are invited to see the catches at the end of each fishing day.
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