Island Harbour beach where Festival del Mar takes place over the Easter weekend.
ANGUILLA–The picturesque fishing village of Island Harbour, East End, will once again host hundreds of islanders and visitors this Easter weekend for the annual Festival del Mar.
Festival Del Mar started in 2007 and has grown into one of Anguilla’s most popular cultural festival events, catering to children and adults alike who love mingling on the beach and partaking in boat racing and swimming competitions, while eating a variety of delicious seafood and listening to music provided by locally talented vocalists and instrumentalists.
The Festival begins on Saturday, March 31, 10:00am and goes through to midnight, and on Sunday, April 1, activities will resume at 11:00am and end at midnight. Approximately 14 food booths and restaurants will offer food and drink throughout the event. Spokesperson Othlyn Vanderpool said, “The Government has worked diligently to restore electrical wiring damaged by Hurricane Irma, as well as update sanitary facilities, so patrons will not experience any infrastructure degradation or inconvenience.”
Saturday’s activities begin with the traditional deep sea fishing competition with the boats and crew heading out very early in the morning and not returning until later in the day. The weighing of the fish begins at 4:00pm and prizes are awarded for the largest fish and the largest total catch by weight, for various fish categories. While the fisherman are at sea, some of the additional daylong activities include a fishing competition for children off of the jetty, model boat races, sunfish boat races, as well as a B Class boat race held within the viewing area, allowing patrons on the beach to follow the progress of their favourite boat. Music will be ongoing throughout the day: a local string band; the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School’s Steel Orchestra; a soca show featuring Shae Shae; Big Rash, a twice-crowned soca monarch from from Island Harbour; Omari Banks and then closing the night will be the Vito Band, also from Island Harbour.
Sunday’s activities will begin at 11:00am and will include the annual Elliott Webster A Class boat race which starts at Sandy Ground and ends at Island Harbour. Activities throughout the day on the beach will include swimming races and additional sun fish races, eating and music. Although the festival officially ends at 5:00pm, the music entertainment will go on through to midnight and will include a local string band; Bookie and the Crew; Nattie and the House; and Bankie Banks; with Boss and the Horsepower Band closing out the evening.
On March 27, the Anguilla Immigration Department issued a “Relaxed Period of Entry” for nationals and residents of St. Martin/St. Maarten for Festival Del Mar from Friday, March 31, to Sunday, April 1. Nationals from St. Martin/St. Maarten who are not in possession of a valid passport will be allowed to enter using a valid ID. Nationals from other Caribbean islands, legally residing in St. Martin/St. Maarten requiring visas for Anguilla, will be exempt from that requirement for the same period. However, they must show proof of legal residency.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/75160-festival-del-mar-beach-party-at-island-harbour