The 21st Annual Caye Caulker Lobster Fest took place this past weekend (June 26 – 28), and definitely proved to be an eventful 3 days.
Although the high season for travel to Belize runs from November through March, when the weather is commonly dry and cool, summer is also a great time to visit Belize. Summer in Belize typically means cheaper accommodations and tour packages, discounts on airfare and fewer crowds; what it also means and probably most importantly, is an increase in local events and cultural festivals for the entire family to enjoy.
The original idea for the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest came from the traditional fishermen on the island, who thought it would be fitting to hold a celebration to honour the crustacean which has nurtured, fed and educated families for generations. Now, every year around the latter part of June, international travellers and locals alike make their way to the island for 3 days of pageantry, DJs, outdoor food booths and beach parties.
Of course, the highlight of the festival is the devouring of succulent lobster prepared fresh in just about every imaginable way. Selections include lobster ceviche, stewed lobster, grilled lobster, lobster kebabs, whole lobster and lobster tails. Just about anything lobster was available.
Day (or should we say Night) 1 saw the crowning of a new “Miss Lobster Fest” in Ms. Aricelli Cadle, who bested 3 other local contenders for the title at the Miss Lobster Fest pageant held at the Palapa Gardens. Day 2 was all about the “All Day Fete” held on the main road; several booths were assembled highlighting various NGO’s such as Oceana, MarAlliance, The Belize Tourism Board, local crafts and of course…Lobster! These booths were primarily assembled in one general area, but many locals opted to set up make-shift stalls along the main road leading to “The Split,” where various beach parties and events were taking place. Day 3 brought the culmination of the weekend’s festivities with an all-day beach party at (you guessed it), The Split! Now known as the primary gathering point for locals and visitors to congregate and socialize, this natural divide has become world famous and even more so, for the spectacular beach parties thrown in the area by locals and promoters.
The next time you’re trying to figure out the best time to travel to Belize, why not give summer a chance and enjoy the sun, beaches, games, music, dancing and tons to eat and drink; at the Caye Caulker Lobsterfest!
Here’s a glimpse into how we spent our day at the All Day Fete:
Making our way on the main road to the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest - All Day Fete.
Along the way, we got to meet a local vendor preparing freshly caught lobster's to be grilled.
The Oceana booth was on of our favorites with many prizes and surprises for visitors.
Several booths lined the main road consisting of NGO's, food and beverage stalls, artisans and even games of chance.
A booth was dedicated to vending Lobster Fest memorabilia such as t-shirts, cups, rags and beads.
Our first taste of Lobster for the day; grilled to tasty perfection.
These wooden Lobster souvenirs appeared very realistic from afar.
You could also purchase Conch shell trinkets; from desk ornaments and earrings to spoons and food bowls.
Anyone care for some whole lobster or lobster kabobs? We sure do!
Whole Lobster Seafood Delight - Round 2.
Here's a snap of a traveler from Texas with local favorite Belikin Beer and his GoPro. Someone definitely got the "No shirt...no problem" memo!
"The Split" was definitely the place to be as the crowds at the popular meeting point, gradually grew to several hundred as the day progressed.
Several beach party events were taking place including drink specials, eating contests and dance-offs although; some festival goers simply preferred floating in the sea.
Here;s a wider shot of the beach and some locals playing volleyball.
This young boy was having fun cleaning the beach...or collecting interstellar life-forms. It's simply amazing where our imagination can take us!
This wooden 2-storey building at "The Split," has plenty of history imprinted on its walls; travelers from far and wide leave their mark by writing their names, the date, country of origin and even zodiac sign.
Mini beach games between friends were a great attraction.
An overhead shot of the crowd relaxing and enjoying the music.
This fly-boarder was putting on a show for the spectators.
Can anyone guess what mix was being prepared in this image using local white rum?
The drink most famous to the island of course: Lizard Juice - popularly known for its green colour.
These visitors were all smiles as their day was truly as memorable one! Summer in Belize was definitely worth it!