Grenada may be a bit off the beaten part as far as Caribbean travel destinations go, but the island has one of the most vibrant cultural calendars in the region, celebrating everything from fishing to traditional music.
Spice Island Billfish Tournament
Launched in 1964, the annual Billfish Tournament in Grenada attracts anglers from across the Caribbean and around the world. Based at the Grenada Yacht Club, the tournament includes a boat parade and dinner, with prizes for top boats and heaviest fish (including Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and Dolphin).
Organized by the Tivoli Drummers, based in the village of Tivoli in Grenada's St. Andrew parish, this annual celebration of Afro-Caribbean drum music includes concerts, food, parties, and cultural exhibits.
Carriacou Regatta Festival
Boat racing is of course the main attraction, but there's also plenty else going on in Grenada during Carriacou Regatta week, including themed parties, karoake competitions, a beauty pageant, and netball and soccer tournaments.
Carriacou Parang Festival
Held Dec. 14-16, this annual music festival attracts local and regional bands for an annual competition honoring the traditional string music of the island of Carriacou, just off Grenada's coast. Despite its proximity to Christmas, the percussion-driven music is known for its sometimes bawdy lyrics. But there's holiday carols, too -- go figure.
SpiceMas Grenada Carnival
Peaking in August, Grenada's local Carnival celebration actually gets underway as early as April with launch parties and musical competitions. A Carnival queen and king are crowned each year, and Carnival Monday and Tuesday come alive with soca and calypso music, street parades, j'ouvert celebrations, and much more.
Grenada Chocolate Festival
Grenada is a producer of some of the finest chocolate on earth, and this May festival celebrates everything we love about our favorite sweet, dark treat. Visitors will learn all about the organic chocolate produced in Grenada, from cacao tree to candy bar. Festival events include visits to cocoa farms, tastings and foodie events, concerts, and more. Grenada's House of Chocolate -- a chocolate-infused cafe, museum and boutique -- is home base for the festival.
Pure Grenada Music Festival
Local and international performers alike take the stage at this May event, which is held in the heart of Grenada's capital city, St. George. The festival village centers on a green swath of Port Louis, with a pair of stages graced by artists like Jamaican reggae singer Tarrus Riley and Steel Pulse.
Grenada Sailing Week
Would you rather be on a boat than slogging through the snow in January and February? Then check out the annual Grenada Sailing Week, which includes races off Grand Anse and Grenada's south coast interspersed with the usual parties. The regatta includes races for Racing (spinnaker) Racer/Cruiser (spinnaker optional), Cruising (non-spinnaker), J24 (spinnaker), Classic (non-spinnaker), and Charter (non-spinnaker) Boats.
The beginning of Lent is presaged by Carnival celebrations all over the world, and tiny Carriacou joins the party (along with its even-smaller neighbor, Petit Martinique) each spring. In addition to the typical Carnival events like soca and calypso concerts, wild costumes and parades, the Carriacou Carnival includes the unique Shakespeare Mas -- readings of Shakespearian verses in a lively word battle among competitors.