Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Antigua Carnival

Duration: Half Day

Antigua Carnival

If you happen to be taking a holiday in Antigua from the end of July to the beginning of August, don’t miss the chance to be part of one of the biggest parties of the year – Antigua Carnival. This annual, 10-day event is a celebration of the earliest emancipation of slaves in the Caribbean, which is commemorated through music, dancing and much more besides. Watch the island come alive with the vibrant colours, sights and sounds of Carnival. Not to be missed, this is one of the Caribbean’s greatest summer festivals.

The Caribbean is one place where you will find carnival celebrations happening all year round, and the paradise island of Antigua is no exception. The history of Antigua Carnival dates back to the 1st August 1834 when slavery was abolished. The local people celebrated their freedom and expressed their joy through annual festivals, which have evolved over time and become more vibrant and entertaining each year. The first formal Antigua Carnival took place in 1957, and since then, thousands of revellers from all kinds of cultural backgrounds have taken to the streets of St John’s during July and August for one of the biggest and best festivals in the Caribbean.

You will immediately get caught up in the fun, party atmosphere as the energetic parades pass by, full of happy, smiling people dressed in bright, colourful costumes; dancing and drinking behind beautiful decorative floats. Join in the fun as you follow their lead, swaying your hips to the sounds of the jam bands and steel drums whilst reggae and calypso music fills the air. The energy is infectious.

The parade concludes at "Carnival City" (Antigua Recreation Ground), where a massive street party called J’ouvert (meaning “day break”) takes place on Carnival Monday, the first Monday in August, until the following morning. There is also a Children’s Carnival parade so the little ones can join in too, as well as calypso, steel band and costume competitions, talent shows, food fairs, cultural shows, fireworks, a beach bash and much, much more.

You will need plenty of stamina because the dancing literally goes on all night and into the next day! This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the festive carnival spirit whilst gaining a valuable insight into the culture of Antigua.

Antigua Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £1059 per person
worthing court apartment hotel + starfish jolly beach resort

Worthing Court Apartment Hotel + Starfish Jolly Beach Resort

Come and soak up the sun with two great value hotels that offer something for families and couples. Starting with...

From £1179 per person
starfish jolly beach resort + grenadian by rex resorts

Starfish Jolly Beach Resort + Grenadian by Rex Resorts

starfish jolly beach resort is set amongst 40 acres of tropical gardens on an amazing mile-long white sand beach. This...

From £1209 per person
halcyon cove by rex resorts + grenadian by rex resorts

Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts + Grenadian by Rex Resorts

Like many other Antigua hotels, the Rex Halcyon Cove Hotel is situated right on a stunning stretch of pristine beach, so...

From £1229 per person
halcyon cove by rex resorts + discovery bay by rex resorts

Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts + Discovery Bay by Rex Resorts

Like many other Antigua hotels, the Rex Halcyon Cove Hotel is situated right on a stunning stretch of pristine beach, so...

From £1259 per person
grafton beach resort + starfish jolly beach resort

Grafton Beach Resort + Starfish Jolly Beach Resort

Ever wanted to try Tobago and Antigua? Well experience both with this fantastic twin centre package. Starting off at...

From £1309 per person
hawksbill beach by rex resorts + grenadian by rex resorts

Hawksbill Beach by Rex Resorts + Grenadian by Rex Resorts

This twin centre allows you to experience the best of two beautiful Caribbean Islands for one fixed price. Starting with...

Talk to a specialist


Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Related articles for Antigua

Cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda set to break record by end of the year

The cruise industry in Antigua and Barbuda is thriving, according to recent figures from the nation's tourism ministry. An anticipated 459,138 cruise passengers are expected to visit the twin island nation between October and December this year. More than 220 cruise ship calls will be made during this period, including 12 new cruises from ships that have never visited the Caribbean country.

Caribbean island of Antigua open to tourists following Hurricane Irma

The Caribbean island of Antigua is open for business following the devastating Hurricane Irma earlier this month. Many of the island nation’s attractions, activities, restaurants and hotels have reopened to the public, and many more will reopen over the next couple of months before the peak winter season begins. The island’s airport and cruise berths have also re-opened to travellers.

TOWIE stars spotted sunning themselves in Antigua

Stars from reality TV show The Only Way is Essex shared a series of instagram snaps documenting their summer holidays on the Caribbean island of Antigua last month. Couples Amber Dowding and Chris Clark, and Courtney Green and Myles Barnett photographed themselves staying at luxury resorts Pineapple Beach Club and St James Club and Villas.