Anguilla Day commemorates the island’s independence from the associated statehood of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, formed in Feburary of 1967 by British Parliament. The annexed statehood had its own constitution and a considerable degree of self-government, but it held Anguilla in strenuous and continued subservience to St. Kitts. On May 30th, 1967, the people of Anguilla began a revolution marching on the Police Headquarters and evicting the St. Kitts police, disassociated the island from the union.
Although a level of independence was achieved, it was not until December 19th, 1980 that Anguilla was formally disassociated from St. Kitts and Nevis. May 30th is celebrated as the spark that ignited the island’s freedom.
Anguilla Day is an excellent time to visit the island. It is a day of joyful celebration for our people, but also for visitors. Contagious happiness permeates all. Every year the festivities kick off with one of Anguilla’s most exciting boatraces, the Round-the-Island race, which begins at Sandy Ground at approximately 9 am …a sight to behold as white sails take to the sea and “land racers” follow them by car and radio until they reach Sandy Ground in the late afternoon.
One of the best ways to enjoy the day is to take in the boatrace from a number of vantage points, here are some Anguilla Day suggestions:
See the beginning of the Anguilla Day parade a they march down Ronald Webster Highway. Bright colors and men in uniform kick off the day around 8am…but don’t linger too long. You’ll need time to get down to Sandy Ground.
Grab some pastries and fruit in the Valley and head to the bluffs of Backstreet or down to the beach at Sandy Ground. You will have the opportunity to see the boats getting ready for the race, hear the competitive prattle and watch as the crew and their most dedicated fans plan their strategies. The boats typically take off between 9 and 930am.
Once the last sail leaves Road Bay, head to Shoal Bay or Island Harbour for swimming, lounging and a little lunch. Enjoy the island and as the boats approach you will see the shoreline get busier as fans come down to root their favorite boat on.
By 3pm you need to head back to Sandy Ground – the boats will be returning around 4pm. As they head to the finish the excitement of the crowd intensifies. Barbecues and bands play, the water is filled with people as they greet their champions on return!
While there are no official parties, Sandy Ground hops during this festive day that celebrates the freedom of Anguilla!
AXA DAY PARADE
Each year, civil servants, government dignitaries and some of our historically notable citizens honor the memory of our revolution in an early morning march along Ronald Webster Parkway.