The Caribbean island of Montserrat celebrates St Patrick’s Day Festival every March.
Overseas visitors are invited to join the craic in Montserrat as it celebrates its unique St Patrick’s Day Festival each March.
Known as ‘The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean’, Montserrat is the only country outside Ireland where St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. The week-long St Patrick’s festival provides a dynamic mix of Irish and African heritage, with some traditional Caribbean entertainment thrown in, to make this one of Montserrat’s most popular annual events.
Visitors are welcomed to the island to experience and celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Montserrat style.
Events taking place during the week include the annual St Patrick’s dinner at the Montserrat Cultural Centre; a Freedom Run to commemorate an eighteenth century slave uprising; an island pub crawl starting at Garry Moore’s Wide Awake Bar; and a Heritage Day and feast in Festival Village, with local food, music, dances, games and the heritage day Jamboree.
The week-long festival encompasses everything Montserrat has to offer including entertainment, legend and folklore, sight-seeing tours, cultural exhibitions and much more, making it one of the most popular times of year for overseas visitors.
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated on Montserrat to remember the island’s Irish Heritage which dates back to the 17th century. The Irish connections are still evident today from the moment visitors arrive on the island and receive their shamrock passport stamp. During the St Patrick’s Day festival, visitors will notice many locals wearing national dress – in which green is the dominant colour – and both Guinness and ‘Green’ Heineken are available in bars alongside the customary rum punch cocktails.
Montserrat’s Irish heritage dates back to the 17th century when the island became a haven for Irish Catholics who were persecuted on other Caribbean islands. By 1678, a census showed that more than half the people on the island were Irish, so it is hardly surprising that the Irish had such a strong influence on the island’s developing culture. This history is still evident today from the moment visitors arrive at the John A. Osborne airport in Montserrat and receive a shamrock-shaped stamp in their passports. During St Patrick’s Day, visitors will notice many locals wearing national dress – in which green is the dominant colour – and both Guinness and ‘Green’ Heineken are available in bars aside the customary rum punch cocktails.
African-inspired events such as the Freedom Run fun-run and masquerade dancing commemorate the slave history in Montserrat, specifically an unsuccessful uprising that took place on St Patrick’s Day in 1768.
The festival is more accessible than ever this year with the return of a regular ferry service between Antigua and Montserrat and improved flight connections with two airlines now offering scheduled services on the route. As well as widening the choice for holidaymakers to Montserrat, this also means that those staying in Antigua can hop across to Montserrat for a day-trip or short break to also participate in the St Patrick’s Week of Activities.
Montserrat Tourist Info