Best Ways to Celebrate August Festival in the BVI
- July 31st, 2013
- in Lifestyle
Photography by David Thomas
Commemorating Emancipation Day—August 1 1834—the British Virgin Islands bestows a welcome and much appreciated vacation of three days to a very grateful community. That’s right. Three days.
The build up to Festival is one of our favourite times of year –the chance to kick back and relax with no special agenda.
August Monday, the first of the three-day holiday that BVI residents are gifted with, always occurs on the first Monday of the month.
Typically, there are some who take this opportunity to leave the islands for a short break; however, there is nothing like spending the quieter summer months in the BVI.
There is always a feeling of excitement approaching Festival – the village opens a week before August Monday and the sounds of island beats waft through open windows, reminding us that it is that time of year again.
With three days of celebrations and many businesses closed during that time, it is best to be prepared in advance. Make sure that you stock up on everything that you will need for the break.
When shopping, remember that there will be many opportunities for meeting and entertaining friends, so it may be an idea—for once—to slightly over cater. Buy all the food and drink you will be enjoying beforehand and freeze as much as you can as it is a challenge to find what you need after the weekend.
Form plans ahead of time. Do you intend to visit the parade on August Monday? This is a must if you have never done so. What will your plans be for the rest of the time? Do you have family or friends staying and will you be hosting a dinner party, barbeque or picnic?
It’s a good idea to have lots of quick party snack food on hand – bags of tortilla chips, biscuits and readymade dips if you don’t have the energy to make them from scratch. It’s hot and it’s a party, so don’t forget the party drinks and mixers; now is a great time to practice making the perfect Sangria or Margarita or our island favourite – Rum Punch. A good blender is a must for blended drinks and some cocktail shakers come in useful for festival parties too.
As we are all trying to take it easy, consider using paper plates and napkins to save on the washing up, especially if hosting outside. Have extra bin bags on hand, or recycle card board boxes for trash.
As the weather is often fabulous this time of year, it is a great opportunity to take a boat out and visit other islands and enjoy beach picnics. A day out on the water can blow away all the cobwebs and it never gets tiring looking at the islands from the sea.
Before the break, make sure you have to hand good cool bags or cool boxes. Ziploc bags or parchment paper for wrapping food are also useful. Consider taking plastic glasses since they are lighter and safer than the real thing and of course, don’t forget the corkscrew. Experience dictates that there is nothing more annoying than arriving on a deserted island and finding out you have no way to open a bottle of wine.
Finally, we would suggest making sure you have lots of water to hand as well as the aspirin – Festival is fun…..until the morning after.