Events in St. Martin
Tuesdays in Grand Case
Every Tuesday in February, March, and April, Grand Case village comes alive with a high-spirited event combining gastronomy, music, and local handicraft. The main street closes to foot traffic only, leaving room for the thousands of visitors coming to enjoy the evening shows and lively Caribbean music. Tuesdays in Grand Case are a must for those wanting to partake in all Caribbean-style pleasures, from carnivalesque parades and concerts to artisanal markets and local food stands.
Carnival in St. Martin
Rolling out over several weeks at the beginning of each year, St. Martin’s carnival is an event that embodies local life. Colorful groups fill the streets of St. Martin’s capital to the sounds of soca, drums, and whistles. Men and women parade across town admired by dazzled spectators from St. Martin and abroad, their spirits awakened. One by one, teams come before the judges to compete for prizes like best choreography, most beautiful costume, or best performance. But there’s more: concerts, the Jouvert Morning (a parade at dawn), the children’s parade, as well as the Miss Carnival and Miss Carnival Junior competitions.
St. Maarten Carnival, on the Dutch side
The Dutch side, St. Maarten, also knows how to party. Its own carnival takes place over several weeks at the end of March to the beginning of May, with many parades and concerts organized for the occasion. This traditional event is a key cultural event among the people, attracting thousands each year. 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the St. Maarten Carnival.
The biggest electronic music festival of the Caribbean has been happening in St. Martin every year since 2016. Thousands of people attend this extraordinary event, which takes place in March. Against a heavenly backdrop, the SXM Festival features the best scene in international electronic music at top venues on the island. This number one festival for electronic music lovers is not only a music event, but also an artistic one with impressive, eco-friendly decor.
The Heineken Regatta
For forty years now, the Heineken Regatta has been known for its “serious fun.” During one long weekend in March, from Thursday to Sunday, the competition brings fun-loving sailing enthusiasts together in the waters of St. Martin. The biggest names in sailing compete for fun in an especially friendly atmosphere where the beer flows endlessly—Heineken is the official sponsor, after all. Every year, between 100 and 200 sailors register for the Heineken Regatta, which is also a long musical weekend filled with a variety of concerts by local and international artists.
Holi, the Festival of Color
The famous Holi festival, or “Festival of Color,” is celebrated in April at St. Martin’s Happy Bay Beach. During this Hindu festival, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, everyone throws colorful powder at one another. It’s a great family event, with food stands offering Indian cuisine, and Bollywood music in the background.
In May, the Cul-de-Sac district hosts Fish Day, a tribute to the island’s fishermen, and an event that celebrates fish in all of its glory. It is, above all, a culinary experience for tourists and locals alike, with stuffed crab, fried or grilled snapper, cod fish salad, conch fritters, and more. The local catch and traditional dishes are honored all day long, and food stands offer St. Martin seafood specialties and organized tastings. Children can participate in games and activities, and there is a stage for local musicians.
Oualichi Festival SXM Best Weekend
Since 2018, the Oualichi Festival has presented itself as the music event of the summer on the annual festival calendar. Over four days in August, Caribbean artists play back-to-back concerts on stages set up in Marigot, Philipsburg, and Happy Bay.
Treehab Pool Party
Every last Saturday of the month, from December to August, Loterie Farm’s L’Eaulounge space opens its doors and its pools, transforming its deck into a dance floor. From 4 p.m. onward, the best DJs on the island are at the turntables up in the trees, heating up the atmosphere long into the evening. There’s an entrance fee for men, though ladies are welcome for free. Guests must be at least 21 years old.
St. Martin’s Day
St. Martin’s Day festivities celebrate the discovery of the island on November 11, 1493. On that day the name of the island, Soualiga, “The Land of Salt,” was changed to St. Martin, in tribute to the patron saint of the day of its discovery by Spanish explorer, Christopher Columbus. Each year events are celebrated alongside Armistice commemorations, and activities include parades, concerts, and traditional sports demonstrations.
Father Christmas House
The house of Father Christmas in Cripple Gate is a local interest that shouldn’t be missed. For over 25 years, Bernardine spends her entire year transforming her house into a Christmastime fairytale palace. Everyday from Thanksgiving to Epiphany, the house opens its doors from 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on weekends), inviting the young and old alike to admire the thousands of lights and decorations on display. The goal is to bring the bygone days of Christmas back to life with traditional music, guavaberry tastings, and sweets.