ST LUCIA ACTIVITY CALENDER

January - Nobel Laureate Week - (21st – 27th)
St. Lucia has more Nobel laureates per capita than any other country in the world. The late Sir Arthur Lewis won the Economics prize in 1979, Derek Walcott the literature prize in 1992. Both were born on January 23rd. To honour their achievements a week of events is organised by the offices of the Governor General. Expect discussions on the economic development of the Caribbean, poetry and musical presentations, literary lectures, concerts and drama productions. See stluciagovernmenthouse.com.

February - Independence Day: 22nd
St. Lucia became independent on the 22 February 1979. There are official parades. The former colonial powers, Great Britain and France, send military contingents to participate in the celebrations. Concerts and other special activities are held to mark the occasion.

April - St. Lucia Golf Open: 14th - 15th
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. The event takes place the first weekend after Easter.

International Earth Day - 22nd
Earth Day begins with the Soleil Lévé (sunrise) ceremony and ends with the Soleil Couché (sunset) ceremony. Call the St. Lucia National Trust at (758)452-5005 to be a part of this activity.

May - St. Lucia Jazz Festival
With big names like Wynton Marsalis and Santana, Kenny G, George Benson, and Stanley Jordan, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival has become one of the premier musical events in the world. Spread over a ten day period, concerts are held day and night around the island. The St. Lucia Jazz Festival culminates with open air, centre stage performances at the Pigeon Island National Landmark. Log on at www.sluciajazz.org for more information.

Desmond Skeete Memorial
This 18-hole charity tournament is held during the Jazz Festival week. After the competition, golfers can enjoy Jazz on the Green, a special reception set to jazz music. Open to all, participants purchase an entry ticket. Proceeds go towards a local charity. The Desmond Skeete Memorial tournament is held in honour of the late Desmond Skeete, former Chairman of the St. Lucia Tourist Board.

June - Dennery Fish Festival
Held the last weekend in June in the Atlantic-coastal village of Dennery, the annual Fish Festival is an all day event. The Fish Festival Committee organises the sale of fresh fish. In addition, the people of Dennery compete in tug-o-war competitions, sailing and swimming and rowing events. Call the Fish Festival Committee (758)453-4010.

June & July - Carnival
Carnival is the biggest show on the island’s calendar. Activities span a whole month and culminate in early July with calypso and soca monarch competitions, a carnival queen show, Panorama and two days of ‘jump up’. Costumed bands take to the streets for the Carnival pageant. The full programme is available from the Cultural Development Foundation at (758)452-1859 or log on to www.stluciacarnival.com.

Sir Vivian Richards Golf Tournament
Hosted by West Indian cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards, the competition is open to all cricket veterans like Sir Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham and Mike Atherton who team up with local golfers to play for a challenge trophy. This 18-hole tournament has a shotgun start. For tournament dates call the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club on (758) 450-8523.

August - International Tennis Federation Coca-Cola International
This junior tennis competition is part of the ITF annual calendar of events. It attracts nearly 200 players from all over the world including North America, Europe and Asia. Tournament winners receive up to 25 world ranking points. The competition is held at the St. Lucia Racquet Club at Cap Estate. Scheduled for the first week in August.

Emancipation Day and National Heroes Day
Internationally August 1st, is Labour Day. However, in St. Lucia it is celebrated as Emancipation and National Heroes Day in remembrance of the abolition of slavery in 1834, and in recognition of notable St. Lucians who have helped to shape the country’s development.

Market Feast
Held at the Castries Market, the produce vendors celebrate their special day. There is musical entertainment and plenty of food and drinks.

September - St. Lucia Bill Fishing Tournament
A three day competition that is open to anglers from all over the Caribbean. The Blue Marlin is the most sought-after catch and everyone is out trying to hook the biggest fish. Marlin weighing less than 250 pounds 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.

October - Creole Heritage Month
The Folk Research Centre, responsible for the preservation and promotion of St. Lucia’s cultural heritage, organizes a series of events throughout the month to celebrate the Creole culture. Several communities are chosen to host events. The La Marguerite flower society festival is also held in October. The roots of this festival date back to the colonial era. Named after St. Marguerite Alacoque, celebrations include traditional songs and dances. Creole Heritage month culminates with International Creole Day or Jounen Kweyol, a worldwide celebration by all countries that speak the Creole language. Call the Folk Research Centre at (758)452-2279 for the full programme of activities.

November - Rotary Club of Gros Islet Golf Tournament
A one day tournament where all proceeds are donated to Rotary Club projects. To find out more about participating in this event, contact the Rotary Club of Gros Islet or Mike Thom at (758)452-0865. Held the first Saturday in November.

December - Festival of Lights and Renewal
On December 13, the Christmas lights are turned on and there is a lantern making competition.

ARC - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
St. Lucia welcomes the world’s largest transoceanic race, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers better known as the ARC. Over 200 boats leave Gran Canaria around November 25th, cross the Atlantic and finish in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. The first yacht usually completes the crossing by the first week of December. Boats fill the Marina and there are concerts and special events to welcome the participants. To take part in the ARC, consult their website: www.worldcruising.com.