Top British Virgin Islands Events

Top Cultural Happenings and Festivals in the BVI

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••• Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands. © BVI Tourism

The 60 islands that make up the British Virgin Islands feature an array of annual celebrations that draw visitors from around the world, especially the yachting set. Here are some of the best events and festivals to plan your next visit around.

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  • 01 of 11

    Full Moon Parties, Trellis Bay and the Bomba Shack

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    ••• The Bomba Shack, Tortola, BVI. © Gail Frederick via Flickr

    Drink and dance on the beach 'til dawn under the light of the full moon -- what can be more Caribbean in spirit than that? Monthly (adults-only) full moon parties are held at Trellis Bay on Tortola (walking distance from the Beef Island airport) and at the legendary Bomba Shack on Tortola's West End, where the price of admission includes a chance to try Bomba's (possibly psychedelic) mushroom tea.

  • 02 of 11

    Foxy's, one of the Caribbean's best beach bars, is the epicenter for the annual New Year's Eve party on Jost Van Dyke -- a.k.a. "Old Year's Night" -- favored by celebrities and yachties for its great food and entertainment. Ring in the new year with a Sly Fox rum toast.

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    The Sunny Caribbee art gallery on Tortola sponsors the annual Karl Merklein Art Show every January. The event showcases Merklein's vibrant original works plus other sculpture, ceramics, and more.

  • 04 of 11

    Tortola also plays host to the BVI's annual Sweethearts of the Caribbean and Classic Yacht Regatta, the February highlight penciled in on the charts of every dedicated yacht captain in the Caribbean. The event is based at the "loyal" West End Yacht Club, and don't miss the after-party at the Jolly Roger Restaurant, the event sponsor located in Tortola's West End.

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  • 05 of 11

    Named after a rum drink, this March regatta is hosted by the Jolly Roger on Tortola and Neptune's Treasure on Anegada.

  • 06 of 11

    A seven-day sailing event that includes cruises, smaller races, and the three-day main-event regatta. Sponsored by the Nanny Cay Marina on Tortola.

  • 07 of 11

    Spanish Town Fisherman's Jamboree/Annual Wahoo Fishing Tournament

    The BVI's top angler's event is held in Spanish Town, capital of Virgin Gorda, and includes great food and entertainment as well as fishing. Held at the same time as Virgin Gorda's Easter Festival, featuring parades, calypso music, and funji bands.

  • 08 of 11
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    ••• BVI Music Festival. © British Virgin Islands Tourist Board

    The annual apex of the BVI music scene, the Music Festival includes reggae, calypso, funji, R&B, rock, dance, and jazz groups from across the regional and around the world. Held over a three-day weekend in May at Cane Garden Bay Beach on Tortola.

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  • 09 of 11

    This relatively new event, held in October, is a celebration of the BVI's great diving scene. Festivities include a treasure hunt, wreck-diving certification courses, and a big party on Cooper Island.

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    Emancipation Festival

    Also known as the August Festival or the BVI Festival, this event marks the BVI's emancipation from slavery in 1834. Includes the annual freedom march, emancipation service, calypso monarch competition, boat races, and August Monday Parade. The cultural event of the year in the BVI and not to be missed.

  • 11 of 11

    Blowing into the BVI from late June-early July, this is one of the top windsurfing competitions in the world and features races from Anguilla to the BVI, and then races starting at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda. The Hi-Ho Pirate Party is an annual highlight.