Festival of the Sea!
What is one of the best things about living in Anguilla? Seafood of course! This Easter weekend all roads led to the fishing village of Island Harbour to “Celebrate all things of the sea” at the 8th annual Festival Del Mar. Festival Del Mar is two jam packed days of activities including sea/beach sporting competitions, boatracing, culinary competitions, musical acts (local and regional) and tons and tons of seafood!
This year we opted to stay home for the first day of the event but I still had to have my seafood! I was treated by my boyfriend to some amazing fried mahi mahi with fried cakes from Elsa’s booth. Super yummy! Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat so with that little taste of Festival Del Mar, I was quite excited, geared and ready to experience all the treats and delights Day two of the festival had to offer.
The next day, Shelly, baby bump and I set out to the Festival about mid afternoon. As expected we had to park quite a distance due to the large amount of persons attending the Festival. We parked by the Island Harbour Primary School and opted to walk along the beach. We enjoyed a scenic view of Island Harbour, Scilly Cay and the festival, taking a few pictures along the way, until we got to the heart of the action.
Some of the first treats we spotted were some sweet treats including banana bread, chocolate cake, apple pie and locally made passion fruit drink. I bought my favourites banana bread and chocolate cake and Shelly enjoyed a very tasty passion fruit drink.
At this point, we were both starving, so we started the hunt for the first course of our meal. After a quick perusal of all the booths, we ended up at Keith and Family’s booth on the eastern side of the wharf. To start, we enjoyed a delicious seafood pilau with conch and lobster.
Unsure of what we should try for our second course, we were unwittingly enticed by the aroma and image of the lobster being relished by the many patrons around us. The decision was made and an order for two lobsters (with fry cakes of course!) was made. We were not disappointed with our second course as it was as succulent and savoury as expected.
Stuffed and very content, we knew that we could not leave the festival without purchasing some good ole fried fish, jacks preferably, as well as some more fried johnny cakes (of course!). Unfortunately, as it was quite late, we were unable to get any jacks, however we did buy some fried snapper and thirteen (13) fried cakes from Lydia’s booth. Yes, thirteen! Lol.
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the music and performances by local acts such as Keanu Belle backed by Akio Lloyd, Natalie, Roxxy and regional artist, Rudy Live.
As “everyone” attends Del Mar, the festival is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family. Throughout our day we saw and chatted with lots of our family and friends whom we don’t normally see on a regular basis.
A wide variety of seafood options at reasonable prices makes this Festival a Seafood lovers Paradise! For those who prefer something a bit less “fishy”, you may be able to find some chicken at a few select vendors but you’ll have to search hard! For those who go “just for the lime”, the Festival does not disappoint offering fun, food and action from 10am until about 12am!
See you at Festival Del Mar next Easter weekend!