Antigua’s 10-day festival is an annual event in late July/early August. This year’s carnival, which celebrates emancipation, begins July 25 and ends on August 4, 2009. Music, dance, and pageantry fill the days as a variety of carnival activities take place. The first day is the Opening of Carnival City, followed by celebrations such as the Children’s Carnival, the Queen of Carnival selection, Teen Splash, Calypso Monarch (where calypso musicians compete for the title), the Panorama Steel Band Competition, J’Ouvert, and Judging of Troupes, among many others. The spectacular Parade of the Bands (August 4) is not to be missed.
Preliminary activities are already under way. Pre-carnival events have been held throughout the month of June and the Calypso Monarch Quarter Finals are taking place this weekend. These are divided into three days of amazing music with around 75 artists competing over a three-day period: the Golden Eye Calypso Tent (July 3), Swallows Calypso and Soca Pepper Pot Tent (today, July 4), and the Masters Calypso Tent (July 5).
For more information and calendar of events, see http://www.antiguacarnival.com/data2k9/