Get up close and personal with the rich and diverse culture of Belize by visiting one or more of these annual events:
Placencia Side Walk Arts and Music Festival (February)
Placencia comes alive every February with local artists from all over the country showcasing their finest creations along Placencia’s historic sidewalk. During the festival visitors can find unique hand crafted items including jewelry, sculptures, photographs, clothing and, of course lots and lots of colorful paintings. With live music and food booths adding to the event, the annual Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music is the perfect one stop shop for Belizean art and also an event to experience vibrant musical performances by local bands and dance groups.
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge (March)
It is under the historic Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town, Cayo District that this one hundred and seventy mile watery journey begins. Up to 100 canoeing teams from all around the world partake in this exuberating endurance race down the Macal River and into the Belize old river as they make their way to the Caribbean seaport of Belize City at the finale of this invigorating four-day river challenge. Locals and visitors alike can be found rooting for their favorite teams along different observation points along the river bank.
The National Agriculture and Trade Show (May)
The main objective of the ‘agric show’ is to educate the public on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to the Belizean economy. Show goers enjoy a mixture of live music, games, animal shows (cowboys/girls lassoing calves), shopping, drinking, eating, dancing, flower and plant displays, mechanical rides and so much more. A wonderfully wholesome event well worth an annual visit.
Chocolate Festival In Toledo (May)
The yearly chocolate festival in the Toledo District provides a weekend of fun and entertainment for all ages. It is a great opportunity to learn about Belize’s living Maya culture with a cacao-themed experience focusing on food, crafts, booths and exhibits and, of course, the highlight of the event, chocolate! Visitors can enjoy demonstrations of how cacao is processed into the organic (as the Mayas used to make it) chocolate of today. This lively festival has helped Toledo shed its worn out image as “the forgotten district” and establish it as one of Belize’s vibrant and growing tourism destinations.
Don’t forget your free sample of chocolate wine as you enjoy live cultural music performances!
Belize Lobster Festival (June)
San Pedro, Placencia & Caye Caulker each host a grand festival for one of the most popular gastronomic events of summer which kicks off when the official lobster season opens in June – Lobster time! The entire community comes together to celebrate its traditional fishermen’s culture with games, music, local arts and raffles with amazing prizes! It really doesn’t matter which location you choose to attend as each of them promise a fun filled atmosphere with great Belizean lobster dishes in all forms possible. Lobster ice-cream anyone?
Belize Carnival Road March (September)
September is the biggest month on the Belize social calendar as it marks the month of Independence for the country. For the savvy traveler, it’s one of the best times to visit and get a true feeling of the Belizean people coming together to celebrate in the harmony that defines this small multi-cultural nation. The extra ordinary road march that takes place in Belize City floods the streets with vibrant colors and live music! Trucks equipped with electric generators and music boxes play popular dance tunes and marchers throng behind executing their choreographed dance moves. Beautiful floats, costumed masqueraders, and eclectic dance groups can be seen gyrating to the beat of Caribbean Soca music.
Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration (November)
All of Belize come together to celebrate the arrival of one of the largest immigrations of an individual ethnic group to Belize. Celebrations are seen along the nation’s southern shores in the villages of Barranco, Seine Bight, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. Beginning at daybreak, the rhythmic throbbing of the Garifuna drumming announces the reenactment of the first landing of the Gariganu in Belize in 1832 in their handmade dugout canoes. For Belizeans and visitors alike this is an excellent opportunity to be immersed in the Garifuna culture and enjoy some delicious food, lively music and dance. There is always an abundance of traditional Garifuna dishes such as serre, fish boiled in coconut milk and served with hudut, the Garifuna staple of mashed plantain.
Chaa Creek blog