Gros Islet Street Party - Dine, dance and dig the riddim
Despite the online rave reviews and leagues of loyal fans, Gros Islet isn't just the best Friday night 'lime' in the north. The street party - also known as the 'jump-up' - is an institution on the island after taking place weekly for more than fifty years, come rain or shine. In fact, only on Good Friday does the town take a Friday night off from hosting Saint Lucia's most famous party.
Every Friday night from sunset, the residents of the colourful fishing town on Saint Lucia's northwest tip fire up their barbecues, ice the Piton beer, set up tabletop bars in the streets and get ready to welcome thousands of enthusiastic revellers to the narrow streets of Gros Islet. Arts and crafts vendors lay out their stalls and the town centre becomes DJ central, as a giant sound system cranks up and keeps the street party moving until the wee hours of Saturday morning.
And don't worry about dinner! On Friday nights, Gros Islet is lined with sizzling barbecues, grilling everything from zest chicken and pork to the freshest catch, landed just hours before by the town's fishermen. Local cuisine is the ticket, and the adventurous should look out for the lambi or conch grills on the waterfront, or seasonal seafood favourites like spiny lobster and bwigo (whelks).
Anse La Raye Fish Fry - An authentic village beach bash
During the day, the beachside fisheries complex at Anse La Raye is a busy hive of activity, as the local fishermen take to sea in their colourful boats or pirogues and return laden with the finest catch. On Friday evenings, snapper, tuna, dorado, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, lobster, crab and a plethora of other delicious sea-dwellers makes its way to the villagers' coalpots and grills, which line the beach front, surrounded by brightly covered tables and impromptu street cafes.
Artisans and artists sell their creations from small tables and stalls, the crowd is a blend of locals and visitors, and the music swings from laid back to get-up-and-dance as the evening goes on.
Dennery Seafood Fiesta - Limin' on the Atlantic coast
The sheltered village of Dennery lies almost exactly half way down the east coast of Saint Lucia, where the Atlantic first makes contact with the island. The harbour is another busy fisheries complex, in a picturesque setting flanked by tall cliffs and overlooked by the charming, hillside village. On Saturday nights, the beachside becomes a community lime, with street vendors setting up beside the surrounding rum shops and bars, and the pounding beat of a reggae sound system close to the water's edge. The vibe is laid back, friendly and authentic, as the Fish Fiesta is a favourite with many locals from the south of the island.