Just this past week, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) released the official schedule of events for September Celebrations in San Pedro and around the country.
It IS my favorite time of year. So, if you are visiting Ambergris Caye in September or you are living here for the very first time, here is my guide to the activities. Get your red, white and blue ready!
Don’t be shy.
I am focusing on my home town of San Pedro in this post but there are some BIG events, like Carnival in Belize City or the Independence Day parade in Orange Walk that are SO worth thinking about.
During the first days of September, you will see the town, houses and golf carts decorated for the holiday.
September 1st, 2nd and 3rd, Sir Barry Bowen’s Belikin Bash, BTL Park, Belize City, 6pm to midnight. Three nights of live local music and partying. Free.
I got a FULL ACCESS pass 2 years ago…and it was AWESOME pretending that I was with the band.
September 3rd: Miss San Pedro Competition, 7:30pm, at Saca Chispas (or the “Old Football Field”). This is a hugely popular event in town with everyone routing for friends and family. The girls are amazing ambassadors for San Pedro and appear during the Jump Up Parade on the 21st of September.
Miss San Pedro 2012-2013 Naiely Puc
Miss San Pedro, 2013-2014, Solani Graniel
Miss San Pedro, 2014-2015, Michelle Nunez
and 2015-2016, Miss Iris Salguero.
September 3rd and 4th, EXPO Belize Market Place, ITVET, BELIZE CITY. Adult tickets $5bzd. This two day trade show is a bit of everything. Vendors from around the country – from food sales to insurance to beer companies – show off their wares. There are games, freebies, music and crowds. I had a GREAT time in 2013.
Who doesn’t like RF&G Insurance Plinko? I won a flyswatter!
September 10th, Battle of St George’s Caye Day and Uniform Parade, 9am, Central Park, San Pedro: This is the first official national holiday of the month, to honor the English Baymen and their slaves driving of the Spanish in 1798. There is usually an official ceremony (and public transportation) on St. George’s Caye itself but this year, it has been moved to Beliize City due to hurricane Earl damage.
In San Pedro, there is a Uniform Parade. Kids (before they can enjoy the day off), police, firemen and town officials.
It’s always HOT, cute and will give you a sense of just how many KIDS there are on this island.
September 17th, Belize City, THE BIG DAY in Belize City. Jouvert, the Carnival Road March and the After Party. I have never been to Jouvert but it is an EARLY morning road march/dance with musicians, DJs, dancers and Jouvert groups parading through the streets covered in chocolate and paint.
Photo by JC Cuellar. Lots more great shots on his site.
Its origins are super interesting and I’m not sure when it started in Belize.
The costumes are fabulous.
September 20th, Independence Eve, San Pedro, 7pm, The Old Football Field: Music, food, ceremony and fireworks.
SEPTEMBER 21st is INDEPENDENCE DAY! Belize is 35 years old and most towns across the country celebrate with a parade. Orange Walk town has the largest but sadly, I have never been. Because I Love Love Love our sometimes big, sometimes smaller parade here in San Pedro.
1pm is the official time and it is guaranteed to be HOT and it is guaranteed to start late. But no one cares…line the streets, pick a bar, it’s one big party.
There you go. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Love it. Come to Belize to celebrate and you’ll love it too.
35 years of Independence!