Carnival week is underway and August Monday is the crown jewel in the week’s festivities, bringing in masses of people from Anguilla and neighboring islands for a day long party. The beach party spans the stretch of Sandy Ground with boats from Anguilla, St. Maarten and St. Barths lining the shore. For guests that are used to seeing tranquil Anguilla, this is a far cry from the lazy beach days that many are used to experiencing.
August Monday represents one of the biggest beach parties in the Caribbean, and it starts off around 5AM with Jouvert (pronounced joo-vay). Thousands of people dance their way from The Valley to Sandy Ground over the course of a few hours to kickstart the festivities. I’ve never mustered up the energy to join in the early morning march but it’s a must for many of our friends on the island!
This year, we headed down to Sandy Ground at around 1PM. When people refer to ‘traffic’ in Anguilla, we always laugh. On an island of 13,000 or so people, how much traffic can there really be?
August Monday is different. This is the only time of year that I’ve legitimately experienced bumper-to-bumper traffic. Despite the long drive (luckily I had company!), we made it, and we had the resort’s boat tied up right in front of Johnno’s at the center of the festivities.
The people watching on August Monday is epic so we had to enjoy the requisite beach strolls, frozen drinks in hand, while we took it all in. Tents line the beach doling out BBQ, soup, snacks, rum punch and beer to keep the festivities fueled. The dance party centers around the main stage where people in all states of dress let loose on the beach.
For me, that six-hour brush with August Monday’s festivities is perfect. It’s the ideal amount of time to take in the action, grab a bite, soak up some sun, and chat with friends on the beach without getting too claustrophobic. Stay tuned for some photos + video from one of my favorite days of the week: August Thursday, when the sailboat races come to our home turf on Meads Bay!
Have you partaken in August Monday’s festivities? Would you come to Anguilla for Carnival?