Within the simple surroundings of sun, sand and sea, the Turks and Caicos Islands are the delightful setting for a series of events that are more fun, family affairs than formal indoor occasions. After all, it would almost be a shame to miss even one moment of such a superb outdoors. Many events are a celebration of the activities that people here love to take part in throughout the year: sailing, fishing, kite flying, and making music, to name but a few. The events take place throughout the Island group, but many are centred around Providenciales.
Most islands will greet the New Year with a Junkanoo festival, taking place from midnight to sunrise on New Year’s morning. Revellers girate in an adrenaline rush of colours, costumes and floats framed by the beat of the mounting clamour of bells, whistles and goombay drums throbbing forward to the rhythm of the music. A festival unique in its rawness and flavour of the Afro-Caribbean, the year begins as the dawn streaks the sky with a palette of primary colours and a view framed by palm trees in silhouette.
Throughout the year there are wonderful opportunities to enjoy game fishing in a competitive event - as if it were necessary to add any excitement to the sport! The Caribbean clearly has some of the best fishing grounds in the world, with many of the International Game Fishing Association’s world records registered here. In January, Providenciales hosts the Who Cares Wahoo Tournament at the famous Turtle Cove Marina. The Winter Wahoo Rodeo in February is followed by the Caicos Classic Annual Release Tournaments, an international event, in June. Soon afterwards, Grand Turk holds the Heineken Game Fishing Tournament focusing on Blue Marlin catch.
In February, enjoy the Annual Valentine’s Day Cup, a traditional model sailboat race held at Bambarra Beach on Middle Caicos, complete with beach cook-out, live music and cash prizes, or a day out at the Windvibes Kite Board Competition at Children’s Park in the Bight. The year continues with family events such as a Kite Flying Competition at Easter in Providenciales and North Caicos, and the Salt Cay Splashdown Days, a three-day party with pageant, live music, bicycle racing and dancing. There is a fun celebration of Mexican heritage, accompanied by great food, corona and tequila, known as the Cinco de Mayo which is held also at Turtle Cove.
In June, set sail during the Annual Mariners’ Week and celebrate while competing in the Challenge Cup Regatta, the Fools Regatta and the Great Raft Race. Enjoy the spectacle of more sailing than ever seen in the Turks and Caicos for a whole week on Grace Bay, the Island’s famous and stunningly beautiful landmark.
The Caribbean summer would not complete without a beauty pageant and a session of ‘jammin’, such as you may be lucky enough to enjoy at the North Caicos Extravaganza or Grand Turk’s Summajam Festival. Or raise the standard and witness the Turks and Caicos Music and Cultural Festival on Providenciales, the highlight of the Islands’ annual entertainment extravaganzas, where for 8 days world class performances and non-stop entertainment will be provided.
The culture of the conch is celebrated at the Turks and Caicos Conch Festival in Blue Hill, Providenciales in November. This quirky event features the large pink-lipped shell, an important Caribbean food source since the times of the Arawak, and involves conch-tasting, conch-blowing, conch-carving and a generally noisy day of fun competitive events such as a native sloop sailing race and kids’ games with a live musical accompaniment. A ticket will grant guests the opportunity to taste every (hopefully delicious) conch dish entered into the competition.