Antigua and Barbuda's Annual Carnival was delayed this year, as a protective measure to ensure our COVID19 cases remain low. With the vaccine roll out continuing to go exceedingly well we are lucky that international travel is returning, and look forward to welcoming you to the island.
Carnival and Antigua’s Independence is being celebrated through the month of August and we look forward to you joining us online, or at the hotel, with dance classes and cocktail making.
Below we have included some links to the past monarchs in Antigua.
In 1945 Antigua and Barbuda experienced a new cultural phenomenon, the steelpan, which later heralded the steelband movement.
Taken from The Story of Pan in Antigua by Leroy Gordon.
In those days, the refineries in Curacao offered the best opportunities for people from Antigua and the other islands in terms of employment, so there was a steady movement to and from both islands by boat which was the main source of transportation at the time. However, on a return trip to Antigua on “Lady Boat,” which was a passenger and cargo vessel, a stop in Trinidad to refuel was where a few Antiguans first heard the sweet sounds of the steelpan. They were fascinated by both the instrument and its sound and vowed to take this cultural innovation back to Antigua and Barbuda.
On returning home and reporting the good news of what was happening in Trinidad musically, a few men in the Point area who had earlier developed the “iron band” from old pieces of iron, scrap metals, hub caps, old tin pans and sticks which were discarded at the dump site, which is now home to the Port, decided to begin work on building a steelpan. Made from an empty steel oil drum, cut off in varying lengths to emit a range of tones, the pan is put through a process of hammering and heating, thus achieving a chromatic sound. Busta Carty from the Point area, who was very impressed with the steelpan and the sound it created was credited with bringing the first pan into Antigua from Trinidad. The pans built in Trinidad were more advanced than the ones built in Antigua, and as the new invention in music travelled across the island, the race was on to make something similar to the ones built in Trinidad. At that time, no rubber accompanied the sticks that the players used to beat the pans with in Antigua, even though later on, a ball of rubber bands at one end of the stick was introduced to beat the notes.
When the first steelband, Hell’s Gate, from the Point area made its way uptown one Saturday morning playing “My basket, my basket, my green and yellow basket,” after weeks upon weeks of rehearsals under the tutelage of arranger, Alexander “Alec” Roberts, the response was so overwhelming, it brought people into St. John’s from all around the island to see and hear the new phenomenon in music. At the time, the instrument was hung with a strap around the neck of each bandsman thus creating a certain type of mobility. This allowed the steelband to travel around the town with ease. That was the official birth of pan and its music into the annals of the Antiguan/Barbudan cultural experience
You can listen to Hells Gate on YouTube.
FLIGHTS TO ANTIGUA
Flights to Antigua and Barbuda continue from the UK with British Airways flying 7 flights a week from London Gatwick and two weekly flights from Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic are flying three weekly flights from London Heathrow.
Flights from the United States continue with a new announcement from Frontline Airlines, a non-stop service from Orlando MCO to V.C Bird International Airport from the 4th December 2021 on Saturday. Fares are as low as $99 one way!
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Our discount continues for 1 more month!
The Great House Antigua continues to offer a 35% discount for all stays through 2022 with the code TRAVELNOW
The code is valid for all bookings through 2021 and 2022 but is only available for use by the 31 August 2021. Book your stay with us now using this brilliant discount. We look forward to welcoming you to The Great House Antigua later in the year.
We'll see you soon.
The Great House Team