The British Virgin Islands once again readies its shores to receive family, friends and musical artists in celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Emancipation Festival. Also referred to as "August Monday" Festival, this schedule of events includes pageantry, culture and commemoration of the emancipation with a Freedom March and Emancipation service. The showpiece is the Festival Parade on Monday, August 2, 2010 featuring troupes, floupes, floats, moko jumbies, twirlers, bands, and Carnival royalty from throughout the region.
Please note that during this time there will be increased ferry traffic, and that rental cars and vacation villas and other properties will be at a premium, so make your plans early!
The islands of the Caribbean host a variety of celebrations referred to as "Carnival", but they may commemorate different events, such as a successful agricultural season ("Crop Over" in Barbados), a traditional holiday ("Crucian Christmas Fiesta" on St. Croix), or freedom, with "Emancipation Day" celebrations.
During the summer, the Virgin Islands (both U.S. and British) play host to two separate Emancipation Day celebrations. The date of July 3, 1848 marks the date when then-Governor General Peter von Scholten declared all slaves free in the then-Danish West Indies. In the British Virgin Islands, the first Monday in August, referred to as "August Monday" on Tortola marks the date of the Emancipation Proclamation being read in Road Town at the Sunday Morning Well (above right) on August 1, 1834.
Quick historical tip: what we call the "British Virgin Islands" are the actual Virgin Islands, as the "U.S. Virgin Islands" were not so named until after the 1917 transfer of the then-Danish West Indies from Denmark to America.
Events will take place from July 23-August 7 2010, including various pageants and competitions to select Festival royalty.
Festival Monday - (Public Holiday)
Festival Tuesday - (Public Holiday)
Races at the Ellis Thomas Downs Race Track, Sea Cows Bay hosted by the BVI Horse Owners’ Association.
Festival Wednesday - (Public Holiday)
Carrot Bay Festival Celebrations
Festival celebrations at Carrot Bay.
Related link: BVI Tourism (Events and Festivals calendar)