Belize Local Events
Belizeans love to party. They like "punta" (Punta Rock - loud, lively music) and "bram" (a party that goes on a long time and involves much singing and dancing while consuming delicious Belizean food and downing copious quantities of fine local brews). They also love their cycling, horse-racing, fishing, soccer, and festivals and carnivals in general, whenever they can find a good excuse for one.
The Belizean calendar, therefore, contains many such Belize events, guaranteeing Belizeans and visitors to Belize alike a good time to be had at any one of them. Expect crowds and colour, exciting music and dancing, a multicultural feast of sights, sounds, food and drink.
You will find Belizeans to be among the kindest, friendliest, tolerant, fun-loving people in the world. As they are happy to tell you, "Dis jooel is fer evribadi." What better way of finding and soaking up the atmosphere of ´Magical Belize´ than by attending one of the many events in Belize that sprinkle their year. It's likely that there will be something going on somewhere, whenever you come to Belize; on this web-site we are listing, for your consideration, just some of the major happenings and the month they normally happen in. If you see a Belize event which interests you, double check on line to make sure of the exact time and place (they have been known to change a little, depending on local circumstances). Feel free to contact us for more information!
Place: Caye Caulker (9 Jul 2011 - 11 Jul 2011)
As always, check the exact date for 2010 nearer the time with the BTB (Belize Tourism Board) - the date above is our best guess based on past practice; but it just might be the weekend after!
Place: Belize City (16 Jul 2011 - 18 Jul 2011)
Scheduled for mid-July in 2010, it took place in mid-September in 2009 (when it attracted more than 18,000 visitors). Please contact the Belize Chamber of Commerce for the exact date.
Place: Benque Viejo del Carmen (16 Jul 2011 - 18 Jul 2011)
This interesting, and strategically placed village (close to the border with Guatemala) celebrates the day of its patron saint with cultural shows, marimba bands, food and games.
Place: Sugar City (a.k.a. Orange Walk) (23 Jul 2011 - 25 Jul 2011)
This is an agricultural show which additionally features races, rides and food.
Place: Cayo (23 Jul 2011 - 25 Jul 2011)
Belize's answer to the Tour de France! As always, check the dates beforehand to ensure that the event has not been shifted because of unforeseen circumstances since posting this notice!
Place: San Joaquin Village, Corozal (26 Jul 2011 - 1 Aug 2011)
This weeklong festival is in Corozal celebrates San Joaquin, a Catholic Patron Saint. Each day in San Joaquin Village begins with a Mass and ends with a night of dancing, food and crafts sale.
Place: Belize City to Placencia (31 Jul 2011)
You might first be tempted to ask why you would need a mountain bike along this flat coastal route, but that would be.
Place: San Pedro (5 Aug 2011 - 8 Aug 2011)
San Pedro's International Costa Maya Festival is the only festival of its kind in Central America, the biggest festival in Belize, as well as the highlight of Ambergris Caye's entertainment year.
Place: Caye Caulker (12 Aug 2011 - 14 Aug 2011)
Welcome to the Annual "Tres Pescados" Slam Tournament! The three fishes in question are Bonefish, Permit and Tarpon.
Place: San Antonio Village, Toledo District (13 Aug 2011 - 15 Aug 2011)
An intriguing mélange of Christian and ancient Mayan culture, San Antonio's Deer Dance Festival in southern Belize is off the beaten track, but well worth a detour.
Place: all over Belize (1 Sep 2011 - 21 Sep 2011)
September is a festive time of year in Belize. Two of the most important events ever to have taken place in Belize have happened in September: the Battle of St. George's Caye Day - September 10th, 1798 and Independence Day - September 21st, 1981.
Place: The Bliss Performing Arts Centre, Belize City (3 Sep 2011)
World famous concert pianist Francis Reneau was a child prodigy in Belize. He now lives in London and teaches at the Royal College of Music. However, once a year in September he returns to his native land to put on a concert for his fellow Belizeans.
Place: Belize City Centre (4 Sep 2011)
This pageant began in 1946. In those days, contestants wore traditional full length evening gowns and were judged on their natural beauty, the elegant sweep of the curtsey, and their deportment while marching! The popular swimsuit section of the competition didn't appear until the 70s. Being judged on their fluency and presence when answering questions under the spotlight is another fairly recent phenomenon.
Place: Belize City, Corozal, Orange Walk (10 Sep 2011)
It's Carnival Time!!
On 10th September 1798, in the words of the Belizean National Anthem, "Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold, drove back the invaders, our heritage [to] hold." The words refer to the Battle of St George's Caye, when the Spanish made their last attempt to take into Spanish control the territory that is now known as Belize. They were "soundly defeated" by a force of English Baymen and their slaves (who had been armed for the occasion), under the command of John Moss, captain of Her Majesty's sloop of war "Merlin".
Moss was a strategist who had been posted to the area by one Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Barrow, Superintendent of the Settlement. Is he by any chance an ancestor of the current Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow?!
Place: Caye Caulker (10 Sep 2011)
Caye Caulker's standard strategy when in need of an event to mark a special occasion is to hold a fishing tournament: so you will not be surprised to learn there is a September 10th St George's Caye Day Fishing Tournament on Caye Caulker.
Place: the Belize Yacht Club in downtown San Pedro (9 Oct 2011 - 10 Oct 2011)
Bill fish are any fish that have a long, sharp bill or snout, such as gar, needlefish, marlin, swordfish or saury. These can be very large fish, found in fairly deep waters, and with petrol (gas) the price that it is in Belize, a day's fishing can be an expensive business. Also, reeling in a fish that can be considerably heavier than you are is a challenge advisedly undertaken only by those who know what they are doing!
Place: Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo (12 Oct 2011)
October 12th, is the day in which the Americas observe Columbus Day, otherwise known as the Day of the Americas or Pan American Day. It is celebrated mainly in the Orange Walk, Cayo and Corozal districts where the Mestizo culture is predominant. If you are in those areas on this day, expect fiestas and beauty contests. Elsewhere throughout the country, horse and cycle races are common.
Place: Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo (31 Oct 2011)
As October ends and November begins, we come to that time of the year known in many countries as "Halloween": a time when the souls of the dead are said to walk abroad. In Benque the Celebration is known as ‘Los Finados', or ‘Day of the Dead'.
Place: Belize City, Dangriga, Hopkins & Punta Gorda (19 Nov 2011)
This day is marked by festival celebrations in Belize City, and in several urban areas in the southernmost regions of the country to mark the first arrival of the Garinagu in 1832 in Dangriga, their cultural capital.
Garifuna (pronounced Ga-RIF-u-na), is the singular form; the plural is Ga-ri-NA-gu. These are the "Black Caribs", a unique cultural and ethnic group, who first appeared in the Caribbean over 300 years ago, when escaped and shipwrecked slaves intermingled with the native Caribs who gave them refuge on the island of Saint Vincent.
Place: Burrell Boom, Belmopan, Gallon Jug and Punta Gorda (14 Dec 2011 - 5 Jan 2012)
For the historians among you, the first Christmas Bird Count took place in the USA in 1900. These counts are now held all over the Americas, and wherever species which breed in the Americas migrate to. Serious birdwatchers are invited to help with The Belize Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) of early-winter birds.
Place: Belize City, Burrell Boom, Dangriga (26 Dec 2011)
In the UK, and in countries with strong ties to the UK, the day after Christmas day is known as Boxing Day (for reasons that have been somewhat obscured by time). After the soporific excesses of Christmas Day itself, Boxing Day is traditionally a day for sporting events. In Belize you can enjoy a cycle race from Belize City to Burrell Boom (It's more of a cycle sprint, really) followed by horse-racing at the Burrell Boom race track. If you're in Stann Creek, don't miss the Garinagu Dance Extravaganza in Dangriga.
Place: Burrell Boom (1 Jan 2012)
"A Day at the Races" provokes thoughts of glamour, dressing up, fine food and drink and a festival atmosphere; combined with the primitive thrill of watching thoroughbred horses pounding round a track to the cheers of the assembled crowd. So, if you happen to be in Belize on New Year's Day, why not take this perfect opportunity to get the year off to an exciting start at the Burrell Boom race track (off the Burrell Boom Road, which runs between the Northern and the Western Highways) and see how Belizeans do it. We guarantee you a day to remember!
Place: Santa Elena (Corozal) - Belize City (1 Jan 2012)
Belizeans dearly love their cycling, and their year is punctuated by important cycling events. This one was established in 1992 and has been run annually ever since. In the hierarchy of the cycling world in Belize, this is the second most prestigious race on the calendar (the first being the "Cross Country Cycling Classic" held on Holy Saturday).
Place: Belize City (5 Feb 2012 - 7 Feb 2012)
This Tournament, hosted by the Belize Fishing and Game Association, is held in Belize City in early February, and offers cash prizes for marlin and sailfish anglers. Do remember to check on the dates in advance, as a number of factors can affect the timing of fishing tournaments, the weather being not least among them!
Place: Belize City, and San Pedro on Ambergris Caye (13 Feb 2012 - 16 Feb 2012)
"Carnival" in the Caribbean means street parades, colourful costumes, enthusiastic local bands and a host of opportunities to eat and drink and make merry. This isn't an excuse to party - it IS a party! And you're all invited.
Carnival is celebrated all over Belize, so wherever you are you may well come across a parade with pageantry and pleasantry to be enjoyed by all to the insistent beat throbbing from massive boom boxes.
Place: Belmopan to Belize City (14 Feb 2012)
Belizeans cannot let much more than a month go by without a cycling event to get excited about. These events help keep the local riders honed to a peak of fitness, and simultaneously provide the thrill of competition and the delight in spectacle, which gives rise to large crowds and their attendant need for food, drink and loud music: the classic ingredients for a jamboree!
Place: San Ignacio, Bermudian Landing, Burrell Boom and Belize City (5 Mar 2012 - 8 Mar 2012)
They aren't kidding when they describe this event as a "challenge." We're talking paddling for around 70 strokes per minute for 6 hours at a stretch on each of four days! - 180 miles of river, in all probability under a scorching tropical sun for most of the time. This is not an event for the faint-hearted.
Place: Chan Pine Ridge, near Orange Walk Town (6 Mar 2012 - 7 Mar 2012)
The show includes exhibits on livestock and crops, primary school competitions and horse-racing. A lively time is guaranteed for all.
Place: All over, but principally in Belize City (8 Mar 2012)
Baron Bliss Day, a national holiday, will be celebrated on Monday, March 8th in 2010, providing a three day weekend.
Place: Belize City > Belmopan > Belize City (21 Mar 2012)
Given that Belize has not had a cycling classic for about a month, of course it's time for another one! This one sets off from Constitution Park in Belize City, roars along the Western Highway to Belmopan and then powers back to Belize City.
Place: San Jose Succotz (26 Mar 2012 - 28 Mar 2012)
Because of its proximity to the Guatemalan border, the pretty village of San Jose Succotz became home to refugees from strife both in Guatemala and Mexico at various times during its hundred year old history. Situated 10 miles west of San Ignacio, it is a very picturesque spot to visit, given the added interest of the beautiful ancient Mayan site known as Xunantunich; only a mile from the village, reachable via a hand-cranked ferry across the Mopan River. There you will find stelae, and a ball court.
Place: anywhere in Belize (2 Apr 2012)
This is a country where almost 60% of the population is devout Roman Catholic. A goodly proportion of the remainder belongs to other denominations of the Christian faith, for all of whom this day is one of solemn remembrance.
Place: San Ignacio (2 Apr 2012 - 5 Apr 2012)
Easter in Belize is a national event that rivals Christmas. Most offices are closed by Thursday at noon and stay closed until the following Tuesday.
Wherever you are in Belize, the importance of this Christian festival of remembrance will make itself evident to you. One of the more interesting places to experience this is the popular Mestizo town of San Ignacio, a haven for travellers in the Cayo district of Belize some 70 miles west of Belize City.
Place: Belize City > San Ignacio > Belize City (3 Apr 2012)
It has been a week or three since the last Belizean-cycling classic, so it must be time for another one, especially as the Easter weekend creates an ideal opportunity for just such an event.
Place: Sarteneja Village, Corozal (4 Apr 2012)
With 185 miles of coastline and its waters teeming with fish, it is hardly surprising that events involving fishing and boating/sailing figure prominently in the Belize Events Calendar. However, there is something essentially English about a "Sunday Regatta", so perhaps we may catch a whiff of the country's colonial yesteryear in this Easter Sunday event held in the Corozal village of Sarteneja.
Place: Burrell Boom Village (5 Apr 2012)
The Sylvestre Stadium in Burrell Boom is the finishing point for this Easter Monday sprint from Belize City. Unlike many of the marathon cycling races which often exceed 100 miles, this sprint from Belize City, which attracts an international field, is over in a flash.
Place: Belmopan (29 Apr 2012 - 3 May 2012)
This show aims at increasing awareness amongst the Belizean public of the importance of agriculture to the economy of Belize and national food security.
Place: Crooked Tree Village (1 May 2012 - 2 May 2012)
With more than 250 resident species of bird, and many visiting migrants, The Crooked Tree Wildlife Reserve is worth a visit all year round.
Place: everywhere in Belize (1 May 2012)
Expect boating, cycling, horseracing, kite flying, concerts, punta and bram all day and most of the night in Belize City or on the Cayes.
Place: San Ignacio > the western border > Belize City (9 May 2012)
These events are colorful, exciting, focusing on entertainment, music, high spirits, local, arts, crafts, delicious roadside food and drink. No need to be a cycling enthusiast to enjoy them!
Place: San Ignacio (9 May 2012 - 10 May 2012)
The date above is a notional one, as at the time of going to press the local town or village council may not finally have decided upon it.
Place: Caye Caulker (9 May 2012 - 10 May 2012)
With the Cayo Expo in San Ignacio, the date above is a notional one, as at the time of going to press the local council may not finally have decided upon it.
Place: everywhere in Belize (24 May 2012)
Expressions of Gladness, Celebration and Downright Gratitude at their good fortune were de rigeur throughout the "Empire" on this day.
Place: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (14 Jun 2012 - 20 Jun 2012)
San Pedro celebrates the arrival of the lobster season with a week full of activities. Guests can experience inventive ways of cooking and presenting lobster!
Place: Belize City (23 Jun 2012 - 27 Jun 2012)
For more information, contact:
Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA)
10 North Park Street, Belize City
Tel: 501-227-1144 Fax: 501-227-8710
Place: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye (25 Jun 2012 - 27 Jun 2012)
This is a big occasion that dominates proceedings on the Caye from Friday night’s opening ceremony through Saturday and Sundays.
Place: Placencia (25 Jun 2012 - 27 Jun 2012)
This annual Lobsterfest, which takes place from Friday June 25th through Sunday the 27th, was once the main source of Placencia's livelihood, and nobody has forgotten how much their economy depended on it.
Place: Punta Gorda (25 Jun 2012 - 27 Jun 2012)
2010 marks the 45th Anniversary of this Festival of Fine Arts in Toledo, an exciting venue for displaying new artists as well as for viewing the latest work from established figures in the Arts World.