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Home Life Nautical Holiday Happenings 2022

Nautical Holiday Happenings 2022

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Carriacou Parang Festival. Courtesy Grenada National Trust
Carriacou Parang Festival. Courtesy Grenada National Trust

Snow-free Ho Ho Ho’s and Happy New Year’s make celebrating the holidays in the Caribbean a warm welcome. With miles of Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea surrounding the islands, nautical revelry is a customary part of the festive traditions. Here’s a sampling of dates and places to make merry marine-style:

December 10: Club Nautico de San Juan Lighted Boat Parade, Puerto Rico. Some 40 to 50 powerboats, sailboats, and even rowboats participate in this annual spectacular held in the Bahia Urbana and port area in Old San Juan. The parade runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on a specific route designed for safety in the busy harbor. “What’s new this year and every year is how creatively the boats will be decorated and lighted,” says Marely Gutierrez, who manages international events for the Club. Visiting boats are welcome to participate. To get a copy of the entry application, call Gutierrez at 1 (787) 722-0177 ext 226. clubnauticodesanjuan.com 

December 10: St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade, U.S. Virgin Islands. Commemorating its 24th year, some 25 to 30 private boats plus support vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, National Park Service, and Department of Planning and Natural Resources, participate in this kick-off to the jolly good season. Starting at sundown, boats parade through the Christiansted Harbor and around Protestant Cay, with several hundred people spectating from the Christiansted boardwalk. Events start onshore at 1 p.m. with holiday shopping in Christiansted. “Santa arrives by dinghy to greet the crowd and hand out candy canes,” says Trish Rhodes, co-chair. “Then, as the last boaters disappear behind Protestant Cay, the grand finale starts with a sky lit up in spectacular fireworks show.” Monies raised benefit children’s charities. www.stcroixchristmasboatparade.com 

December 16 – 18: Carriacou Parang Festival. Cruise to Grenada’s sister island of Carriacou the weekend before Christmas for this 45th annual musical celebration. The theme this year is ‘Embracing Our Culture Through String and Carols’. Hillsborough is the place to hear the Hosanna Singing Competition Friday night December 16, local artists from neighboring islands perform Saturday, December 17, and the traditional String Band competition on Sunday, December 18. Parang is a type of folk music, while the festival features music, dance, food, and merrymaking on stages and in the streets. www.puregrenada.com

December 17: 5th Annual Santa at The Bay Event. Santa Clause arrives at the Trellis Bay Market Bar & Grill. “We partner with other businesses in the community and provide gifts to kids in the community ages 3-15. The public is invited to enjoy some gift-giving fun at the bay with Santa,” says Shamora Penn-Maduro, manager. trellisbaymarket.com 

December 24: Bitter End’s Lighted Boat Parade, Virgin Gorda, BVI. Join in the festivities with the beautifully rebuilt Bitter End Yacht Club’s (BEYC) annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. “The BEYC Lighted Boat Parade is a BVI tradition,” says Kerri Quinn Jaffe, chief marketing officer. “Yachts gather at 5:45 p.m. at the head of the Bitter End channel and The Bitter End Crew, alongside Santa and his merry elves, lead the parade. Prizes are awarded for creatively decorated boats, which also include an ‘anchored yacht’ category for large yachts. Sail, power, and crewed charter boats, plus private boats are all welcome.” Jaffe adds, “Join us ashore afterward for a festive holiday celebration featuring entertainment and an elegant dinner at The Clubhouse.” beyc.com 

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December 25 & December 31: Christmas Dinner & New Year’s Fireworks at Basil’s, Mustique, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Reserve a mooring and dinghy into Basil’s Bar. Perched over the waters of Britannia Bay, Christmas Day will see head chef and manager, Luke Ferguson, and the Basil’s team serving a traditional Christmas roast lunch. Basil’s legendary annual New Year’s Eve party will offer an incredible buffet and live music starting at 9 p.m., with fireworks at midnight. “Festive Season 2022 is promising to be the biggest ever for Basils Bar and all are invited to join the party whether by land or sea!” says Ferguson. For a moorings reservation, contact Mustique Moorings at [email protected], or, visit basilsbar.com

Bequia Fireworks. Courtesy Wilfred Dederer - Outhouse Graphics
Bequia Fireworks. Courtesy Wilfred Dederer – Outhouse Graphics

December 31: Midnight Fireworks in Bequia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. At the stroke of midnight, fireworks blast into the sky from a location at the head of Admiralty Bay. That means viewing is perfect either via boat in the anchorage or onshore, where there are several places to watch the display. Onshore too, in the lead-up to the sparkling extravaganza, restaurants offer special dinners and there’s a generally festive atmosphere throughout the port as people gather to ring in the New Year. www.bequiatourism.com 

December 31: Fireworks Over Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua. The Old Year ends and New Year begins with a glorious fireworks display over Nelson’s Dockyard and surrounding English Harbour. The colorful display is doubling exciting as the multicolor sparklers reflect in the water. Celebrants, often in the hundreds, share in singing Auld Lang Syne, which is boosted over a sound system such that even those at the dock or in the anchorage can hear, enjoy, and even join in. “The night traditionally gets started with a dinner in the unique and charming Copper and Lumber Historic Inn, where dancing under stars shining over a beautiful courtyard sets the mood for the amazing thrill to come. The hotel opens into the lawn where the night is set to explode into one of the most exciting parties on the island. 

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With dinner activities inside the hotel concluded, the music begins to blare and the crowd swells as anticipation builds for the always exciting fireworks display from the historic Fort Berkley on the hillside,” says Mauricia Frith, marketing officer for the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority. visitantiguabarbuda.com/destinations/nelsons-dockyard 

December 31: Party & Fireworks at Foxy’s, Jost Van Dyke, BVI. The theme of the world-famous Old Year’s Night Party at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar in Great Harbour for 2022 is an African Safari. “We invite everyone to be dressed to suit the theme,” invites Tessa Callwood, wife of calypsonian and namesake, Foxy Callwood. “Burning Flames from Antigua is our main band, with the ever-popular Vibes Band bringing in the lead.” Sit on the beach at midnight and watch fireworks light up the sky. The anchorage in Great Harbour fills up quickly, so arrive earlier in the day and plan to spend the weekend. The party ashore continues into the New Year. foxysbar.com 

December 31: Food & Music to Midnight at Trellis Bay, Beef Island, BVI. The annual New Year’s Eve Party hosted by the Trellis Bay Market Bar & Grill kicks off at 6 p.m. with a Caribbean Buffet Dinner and drink specials. “This year’s event is themed ‘All White on the Deck’,” says Penn-Maduro. “The event hopes to have local cultural acts such as Steel Pan, Moko Jumbies, Fire Dancers, a Live DJ, and Live Band. There will be a countdown to 2023 at 11:59 p.m. where everyone is invited to join in the fun and celebrate 2023.” Trellis Bay Market Bar & Grill has just installed 15 new Moorings Balls in the harbor for guests. The mooring price is $30 per night. There’s also dock space available to dinghy in and enjoy the festivities. trellisbaymarket.com 

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