25 July, 2014: The Carnival of Antigua, a yearly celebration taking place between the end of August and the beginning of July, inevitably constitutes a summer must-see for customers of Essential Hotel Collection visiting the island during that period.

With a history that harks back to the abolition of slavery, on August 1st 1834, the festival is usually held on the streets of St. John’s, filling them with the vibrant colour and sound typical of the Caribbean. Aside from the public parades, a further paid-admission festival called Carnival City is held at the Antiguan Recreation Grounds, which during the rest of the year is home to cricket matches.

It therefore constitutes one of the touristic highlights of not only the summer, but the entire year, as it offers visitors booked with such companies as Essential Hotel Collection the experience of the true Antiguan way of celebrating.

Alongside the parades themselves, which regularly draw crowds of thousands to the centre of town, this festival also offers revellers — both locals and tourists — the opportunity to try a variety of Antiguan delicacies. These include barbecue chicken cooked in the traditional Antiguan style, fish, burgers, as well as the island’s world-renowned drinks.

The locals’ excitement for Carnival does not, however, stop at the event itself. The weeks leading up to the big celebration are filled with any number of smaller events – notably the Mas Camp, where steel bands who will be participating in the Carnival itself gather to practice for the big event. The party atmosphere therefore invades the town well before the big celebration itself, in a spirit that is sure to infect tourists visiting the islands with companies such as Essential Hotel Collection.

Individuals not familiar with this celebration and planning to attend are, however, advised by local entities to avoid wearing their best outfit, as the seasonal heat may cause water to be sprayed over the crowd at regular intervals. Being armed with a bottle of water is also recommended, to avoid dehydration.

About Essential Hotel Collection:

Essential Hotel Collection are the official UK booking office for a handpicked selection of luxury, privately owned hotels in the Caribbean. Contact them at www.essentialhotelcollection.co.uk/

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