Summer is synonymous with fun. With the sunny weather and relaxed atmosphere this season brings, many people look forward to exciting activities with friends and family. For some Caribbean islands, summer also means festivals and Statia is no exception. The entire month of July is dedicated to colourful, music-filled cultural extravaganzas culminating with carnival. For the traveller whose interest lies in immersive cultural adventures, a summer trip to Statia is a must.
On Statia this year, the month of July started off with Emancipation Day celebrations – an apt precursor to the events that are now in full swing and will be for the next few weeks – the celebration of freedom expressed with music and revelry. On the calendar of events, you’ll find a musical, wet fete, bazaar, silent party and more. On Friday, July 22nd, the island’s official carnival festival will begin.
In the period that follows, there will be parades, a night for the youths, a night of culture, Miss Mature Pageant, calypso and soca competition, then the highly anticipated Jouvert parade and reunion jam moves things into high gear. The carnival festival will continue on its upward electrifying trajectory with a vibrant street parade where colourful, costumed masqueraders, accompanied by pulsating local music carried on trucks customized for this purpose dance their way through the streets of Oranjestad. With DJs and live bands galvanizing masqueraders into seemingly well-practiced gyrations to the captivating sounds of the music-trucks, spectators will find it difficult not to shake a leg as the parade goes by. But if you miss the chance to dance along with masqueraders and other locals, the “last lap” jump-up on August 1st presents another opportunity. This is the ultimate culmination of carnival and a perfect way to participate in a community activity with music being at the center of it all.
For the past two years, Covid-19 negatively affected this event. In 2020, no carnival was held. In 2021 the island recorded minimal cases and no deaths so islanders enjoyed a modified version. This year, with travel restrictions being eased around the world and travellers venturing out again, islanders are glad to have their festival back in all its glory; glad to welcome Statians from the diaspora back home and eager have visitors come to the island to share this experience with them.
Why not make Statia your summer vacation choice? If carnival experiences are what you seek visit Statia. It’s not too late to book your trip! July on Statia is magical and mesmerizing. Go experience it.