If you're looking for a fun way to explore the islands of The Bahamas and learn a little something about the country along the way, check out the array of festivals help throughout the Family Islands all year long.

It's a vibrant showcase of Bahamian history, heritage and culture, featuring local fare, music, art and craft, and rich traditions/

Here are some of the most popular festivals to look out for. There's something for everyone.

Seafood lovers should check out the McLean's Town Conch Cracking Festival, scheduled for October 8 in the east end of Grand Bahama.

Cracking conch to extract the meat from the shell has been elevated to an art form here. Fishermen compete for the coveted title of Best Conch Cracker. Visitors are welcome to test their skills as well. The lucky winner gets to take home the prestigious conch trophy.

While the contest is the main event, there are lots of other things to take in at the festival. There's live entertainment, arts and crafts stalls, and lots of traditional Bahamian food to choose from. Of course, you'll find conch prepared every way imaginable - boil',crack',minced, steam', fresh conch salad and conch fritters.

There is also the All Andros Crab Fest. Every year in June the largest island in The Bahamas is invaded by visitors and locals eager to enjoy this Bahamian delicacy. The festival was started in 1997 and celebrates the island's long history of crab catching.

Highlights of the three day festival at Queen's Park in Fresh Creek include the best ways to eat crab - crab soup, crab 'n rice, crab 'n dough and more.

In Eleuthera, the pineapple is celebrated - big time!

Pineapple harvesting was once a mainstay of the island's economy and people from all over the world enjoyed its legendary sweetness. The industry is no longer what it used to be but every summer residents and visitors come together to celebrate the fruit's local history.

At the Pelican point Coconut Festival, held in Grand Bahama, savor the delicate flavor of coconut prepared countless, delicious ways.

Festival-goers can sample, and purchase, coconut tarts, jams, and jellies. Cocktails starring coconut water are also on offer. Sky Juice, aka Gully Wash, is a favorite. This creamy coconut cocktail is served with a generous helping of gin.

No part or the fruit is wasted. What parts of the coconut aren't eaten or served up in a drink are made into jewelry, carvings and other knick-knacks. The Pelican Point Coconut Festival is help over the Easter Monday holiday.

The Rake n Scrape Festival in Cat Island takes place in June and is one of the biggest musical events on the country's calendar. The festival is held annually on Labour Day weekend in Arthur's Town and draws an impressive line up of well-known local artists.

This two-day party livens up the entire island. Take part in games, traditional dancing and down home cuisine. The festival also features a battle of the bands competition, dancing displays and a selection of vendors selling local craft.

Posted by Gina Knowles on


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