While your Bahamas holiday plans probably consist of plenty of sunbathing and perhaps a few cheeky cocktails, why not also check out some of the traditional food festivals the islands have to offer? Food is a fundamental part of Bahamian culture, and there’s always plenty going on, but here’s a guide to a couple of traditional food festivals that you absolutely must see.
This festival was founded in 1988 as an annual celebration of the tradition of pineapple farming in Eleuthera; it honours the local pineapple farmers for their outstanding contribution to the community, as well as the industry’s important agricultural heritage. Visitors from all walks of life come together to enjoy and participate in a wide range of pineapple-themed activities, including a pineapple-eating contest, a pineapple-cooking contest, plaiting of the pineapple pole, the Little Miss Pineapple Pageant, and even a pineapple themed triathlon! It takes place in Gregory Town, North Eleuthera, where there’s an abundance of pineapple. There’s also a much-anticipated Battle of the Bands from the local high school that’s much anticipated!
All Andros Crab Festival
Another traditional food festival not to miss is the All Andros Crab Festival. It was founded in 1997 by the local government and is designed to the local economy and encourage tourism. Andros Island where the festival takes place is traditionally known as The Land of Crabs as the crustaceans are so abundant during summer months. The festival is held during the second weekend in June and attracts thousands of visitors each year; people come to enjoy festivities based on the heritage and culture surrounding the crabbing industry, the crab culinary experience on the Island featuring dishes like crab and rice, crab soup, crab and dough, plus traditional Bahamian Entertainment. Make sure to arrive in time for the releasing of the crabs during the opening ceremonies – 1,200 crabs are released in the audience for crab grabbing! The venue is Queen’s Park in Fresh Creek, Central Andros, which is 2.5 miles from the Andros Town Airport – a short hop from New Providence, which is the central international airport.
Bahamas Coconut Festival
Grand Bahamian resident Cathy Laing established the Bahamas Coconut Festival in 1998 after being inspired by the Pineapple Festival and the Andros Crab Festival. She intended it to be a celebratory event, both for the abundance of coconuts and Bahamian culture in general. It’s perhaps a little more relaxed than the other festivals, and includes a coconut baking contest, coconut based dishes, drinks and crafts, and an evening of dancing to live traditional Bahamian music.