Detail from a painting by Gloria Lynn, one of St. Martin's renowned local artists
Dutch, French and West Indian cultures have come together on this one small island. Several museums trace the history of the area from the island's original Indian inhabitants through the development of sugar cane plantations and rum production. Carnaval, with its parades, costumes and dancing is celebrated as a pre-Lenten festival on the French side, culminating on Ash Wednesday each year. On the Dutch side, Carnival is held after Easter, offering visitors a second opportunity to enjoy the usual island-style merrymaking.
Numerous poets, playwrights and writers reside in St. Maarten / St. Martin, drawing upon the history and culture of this and other nearby islands for their inspiration. Art galleries offer painting, sculpture and lithography by talented local artists and immigrés. Much of their work reflects the natural beauty of the island and its people.
Please click here for a directory of Dutch St. Maarten art galleries and local culture.
Please click here for a directory of French St. Martin art galleries and local culture.
2008 CALENDAR OF EVENTS / SAINT MARTIN / SINT MAARTEN
Jan. 1: New Year's Day. Public holiday. Family day with "at home" festivities
Jan. 6: La Fête des Rois (Epiphany). Old French custom of serving a cake called galette des rois is carried out in most homes.
Jan. 6: FIAC Kayak Race around the island
Jan. 7-18: St. Martin pre carnival events
Jan. 13: Bottom Braquette Mountain Bike Endurance Ride. 4th Diamond Tour 54 Kms
Jan. 17 - 21: St. Maarten - St. Martin Classic Regatta
Jan. 20: Road Runners Picante-Carib Fun Run 10 Kms
February: ECO Fest activities
Feb. 3 : FITA Triple Mini Triathlon
Feb. 3 - 6: Carnaval celebrations on French side. Parades, election of carnival Queen, music. All business comes to a standstill for about 4 days.
Feb. 5: Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday). Children's parades
Feb. 6: Ash Wednesday
Feb. 9: Annual Black History Celebration - Exodus Tribute to Bob Marley
Feb. 10: COYC Kayak border to border race
Feb. 16: Avenir Sportif Run Samanna - Marigot 17 Kms
Feb. 17: Bottom Braquette 45 kms / 75 kms / 100 kms Road Race
Feb. 23 - 24: FITA Galion Kids' Triathlon
Feb. 28: Mi-Carême, or Mid-Lent, public holiday. Parades, parties during day-long respite from Lent
Mar. 2: Bottom Braquette 85 kms Team Race
Mar. 6 - 9: Annual Heineken Regattas. Cruising and racing yachts, small multihulls (24-25ft.) and sailing boats (70 ft.) ply the waters of St. Martin in one of the year's most colorful events.
Mar. 8: Women's Day
Mar. 11: FICA Road Bike Trisport Series #1
Mar. 16: Road Runners Subway to Subway (8.5 Kms)
Mar. 17: St. Patrick's Day
Mar. 23: Treaty of Concordia Celebration (Sint Maarten)
Mar. 23: FIAC Kayak - Picante Series - #2 Carib
Mar. 30: FICA Ennia Kid's bike race
Apr. 13: Road Runners' Easter Hash
Apr.17 - May 3: Carnival. Mainly on the Dutch side, but the French side participates as well. "King Moumou" and "Queen of Carnival" are elected. Beauty contests, food competitions, calypso concerts, parades, "jump ups," floats, steel bands and bright costumes. One can visit "Carnival Village" on the Dutch side and see the burning of "King Moumou" at the end of the festivities.
Apr. 19: CSLG Raid Blue Riders
Apr. 22: Earth Day
Apr. 27: FICA Road Bike Trisport Team Time Trial
Apr. 30: Queen's birthday. Public holiday honoring the Queen of Holland, is celebrated on the Dutch & the French side.
May: Captain Oliver's and Carib Beer Regatta
May: St. Martin International Athletic Meet
May 1: Ascension Thursday. Public holiday
May 1: Labor Day. Public holiday on both sides. Picnics and general merrymaking.
May 8: VE Day. Public holiday
May 11: FIAC Fun Event Kayak race
May 11: Pentecost Sunday
May 12: Pentecost Monday or Whit Monday. Public holiday
May 18: Road Runners Lagoon Half Marathon
May 20 - 22: SMART - St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow
May 21-27: Black Heritage week
May 25: Mother's Day
May 25: Bottom Braquette Triathlon X-Terra
May 27: Slavery Abolition Day, public holiday. Picnics, parties
June: Caribbean One Design Keelboat Championships
June: 5th Annual St. Martin book Fair
June 1: FITA Taloula Mango Boardwalk Triathlon
June 1 - 2: Fishing Event " TFE - SHOOT OUT"
June 3: Fishing Event " TFE - MASTER"
June 4 - 8: Fishing Event " TFE - CLASSIC"
June 8: Carib S T Northern Island Swimming Challenge
June 15: Father's Day
June 15: Carib S T Northern Island Swimming Challenge
July 1: COYC Kayak Quicksilver Challenge
July 1: FIAC Kayak 3 Person Sprint Relay
July 1: Emancipation Day
July 8: Ecotourism Day
July 14: Bastille day. French National Holiday, celebrated on both side of the island. Fireworks, parades, sports contests
July 14: Avenir Sportif Bastille Day Run 6 Kms in Marigot
July 20: Road Runners Orient Bay Beach Run
July 20: Grand Case Day
July 21: Schoelcher Day. In honor of Victor Schoelcher, the French parliamentarian who led the campaign against slavery. Boat races at Grand Case, using beautiful Anguillan sailing boats; mini-marathon; island-wide bike race ending up in Grand Case.
July 21-23: 3rd Annual St. Maarten Summerfest. Concerts
July 28-30: 3rd Annual St. Maarten Summerfest. Concerts
Aug. 1-30: Soualigua Festival
Aug. 15: Assumption day. Public holiday
Aug. 17: COYC 17 kms Kayak / Run
Sept. 7: FIAC Kayak Relay around island
Sept. 14: Road Runners Splash and Sprint
Sept. 27: World Tourism Day
Sept. 28: Avenir Sportif 6 Kms and 12 Kms Run around Marigot
Sept. 28: COYC Soualiga Kayak Challenge
Oct. 5: FITA Tetrathlon Run/MTB/Road Run
Oct. 12: Road Runners Cancer Awareness Walk & Run
Oct. 19: Road Runners Fatum 10 Kms
Oct. 19: 6 Hour Swim Team Swimathon
Oct. 21: Antillean Day. Public holiday in Sint Maarten
Oct. 26: FIAC Kayak 3th Carib Picante Series Race 25 Kms
Oct. 31: Halloween
Oct. 31 - Nov. 7: 2nd annual Fête de la Cuisine
November: Course de l'Alliance Regatta. St. Maarten / St. Barth / Anguilla
Nov. 1: Toussaint (All Saints Day). Public holiday. All cemetery tombstones illuminated with candles
Nov. 2: All Souls Day. Public holiday also
Nov. 2: FITA Triathlon Texaco / Low Lands
Nov. 6: Caribbean Tourism Day
Nov. 11: Armistice Day. Public holiday. Commemorates the end of World War I
Nov. 11: St. Maarten Day. Public holiday. Parades and joint ceremony by French and Dutch officials at Border Monument obelisk commemorating long-standing peaceful coexistence of both countries. Tenth-annual 20-mile "Around the Island" race, based on historic folk tale about how the island's two-nation border was established. Also "St. Martin's Day," denoting start of "season."
Nov. 11: Roadrunners Annual Around the Island Relay Race
Nov. 18: FIAC Kayak 4th Carib Picante Series
December: St. Martin Lighting Parade
December: St. Martin Annual Christmas Lights Competition
December: National Day for Thanksgiving, Peace & Consolation
December: Pan in Paradise. Folkloric Steel Pan Concert
December: St. Maarten Charter Yacht Exhibition
Dec. 8: Avenir Sportif 3 Kms Telethon Team Relay
Dec. 13: Avenir Sportif 3 Kms Telethon Team Relay
Dec. 14: COYC Kayak - Pinel / Plum Bay
Dec. 15: Kingdom (of the Netherlands) Day - Holiday
Dec. 20: FITA Kids Galion
Dec. 21: Road Runners Green House 7 Kms run
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve. Dancing, and dining on Créole specialties. Midnight Mass. Réveillon
Dec. 25: Christmas Day. Public holiday. Singing, exchanging of gifts, feasting
Dec. 26: Boxing Day (Sint Maarten). Public holiday
Dec. 28: FICA Ennia Kids Bike Race
Dec. 31: Réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre (New Year's Eve celebration). Noisemakers, balloons, late-night dining and dancing at hotels and restaurants
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Shown Above: Detail from painting by Gloria Lynn © 1995