Carnival is cancelled
These are probably the most depressing words an Anguillian… scratch that, anyone could hear. Carnival is arguably Anguilla’s biggest holiday typically starting the end of July and finishing the first week in August.
Imagine non-stop summer festivities, filled with mouthwatering food, the constant flow of cocktails, parades bursting with vibrant colours, feathers, and gems. Imagine, the majestic white sails of boats racing across cerulean blue and dancing from dawn till dusk to the beat of live talented musicians.
Carnival or Anguilla Summer Festival is a true celebration of freedom.
What about COVID?
Following the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, the Anguilla Tourist Board and Department of Youth and Culture along with many Caribbean islands made the difficult decision to cancel carnival. Similar decisions were made to cancel the much-anticipated seafood culinary event Festival del Mar, Anguilla Lit Fest and Anguilla Day celebrations.
Although disappointed, many Anguillians understood that to preserve the health and safety of residents and visitors the responsible decision was to reschedule the events.
To date, thanks to the excellent work of our health officials, Anguilla has had only 3 confirmed cases which were not fatal and no new cases for over 3 months.
Can you travel to Anguilla?
Travel to and from Anguilla was temporarily closed. As of August 21st 2020, Anguilla will slowly, emphasis on the slowly, re open our borders. Please see our article, A Very Anguillian Reopening, for an update.
The rules concerning visitation may, of course, change depending on the situation. (This is 2020 after all, the year of Australia burning & murder hornets).
Visitors are encouraged to regularly check the beatcovid19.ai website for updates. If you need a quick Anguilla fix, check out the True Anguilla and Anguilla Tourist Board Facebook page for regular updates about what is happening on island and just really pretty pics of the beaches. (Everyone needs pretty pics of beaches in their life.)
No active cases = A “mini” Carnival
The Government of Anguilla – after taking into consideration no active coronavirus cases and economic constraints – announced the August 3rd, 2020, Anguilla Summer Festival: One Day Experience. The day started at 5am with J’ouvert followed by boat racing and a stage show closed out the celebrations.
This one day extravaganza seemed to be a signal to the Anguillian people.
In a typical demonstration of resilience, the residents said hold my beer or more accurately, HOLD MY RUM PUNCH. What followed was a week-long schedule of independently organized events including:
August 1st Latest and Exodus HD & EPG family Bacchanal Morning & Cool Down Fete, (Jouvert & cool down fete)
August 1st & 2nd Sandy Island Carnival in The Sea (Deejays, steel pan, carnival costumes & more)
August 2nd Magic City’s Rhythm and Brunch with Swimsuit Competition (Artiste deejays & swimwear competition)
August 5th Village Mas (Live performance by local DJ’s & Artistes)
August 7th Bush boys & PVI Sunrise 2 sunset Cultural Escape (Last Lap street fete and food fair)
August 8th Poker Run (Fun on the sea with stops at various beaches)
Of course, the “mini” carnival became slightly less “mini”. It is impossible to dull the spirit of the Anguillian people – even in hard times, we will always find a reason to celebrate.
Until we can have grand celebrations with our friends again, we send you warm smiles, well wishes and hope you dream of turquoise beaches, sequins, feathers and white sails.