The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission (BVITBFC) proudly promoted the 70th Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival over the Memorial Day Weekend at the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival in Atlanta, Georgia.

The team from the BVITBFC headed by Ms. Shaekhoya Matthew, Business Development Manager (BDM) for the region, with support from Ms. Hazel Penn, BDM for the Midwest and Canada region, attended three of the weekend’s events.  They shared information on the BVI with over 7500 carnival attendees at the J’ouvert on 24th May at Donald Lee Howel Parkway, the Parade and Village at Westside Park, and at the Caribbean Fuzion Picnic at Southlake Mall (The District).  At the Carnival Village, the BVI team offered samples of BVI culture with delicacies such as Johnny Cakes, saltfish cakes, patties, passion fruit juice and the Painkiller Cocktail.  These treats were prepared by Derrik Bartley, a BVIslander residing in the Atlanta area, who is the owner of Dah Weeken Grill restaurant.

The BVITBFC’s presence at these events was met with great enthusiasm and interest from many members of the British Virgin Islands and Caribbean diaspora as well as new clients, all eager to visit the British Virgin Islands to experience the rich cultural celebrations of the Emancipation Festival. 

“Our goal was to connect with the community in Atlanta and share the vibrant and unique experiences that the Emancipation Festival offers,” said Ms. Shaekhoya Matthew. “The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we are thrilled by the number of people interested in visiting the British Virgin Islands.”

Commenting on the BVITBFC’s attendance at the event, Director of Tourism Clive McCoy said, “Promoting the Territory through events is one of our strategies for marketing the destination and we thought it was fitting to promote this year’s milestone event in an area where so many of the BVI diaspora resides.  Through this activation we have reached beyond the diaspora and have created more interest in visiting the Territory.”

The Emancipation Festival, which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the British Virgin Islands, is a significant cultural event featuring music, dance, food, and historical reenactments. This year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the emancipation festival and the 190th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Virgin Islands, promises a plethora of activities that celebrate the heritage and history of the islands.