St. Lucia’s Friday Night Jump Up
If you’re visiting St. Lucia and looking to have some local fun, head up to the little town of Gros Islet on very northern tip of the island. This little fishing town just north of the popular Rodney Bay area has recently been upgraded from a village to a town. As nice as it is to walk around during the day, this sleepy little town turns into a whole different animal on Friday nights.
Every Friday night, at around 9PM, the entire town of Gros Islet comes out into the street for a weekly street party called “Jump-up”. Because it is later in the evening and filled with loud music and lots of drinking, I wouldn’t suggest this event for children. It’s more of a nightclub in the street atmosphere, so take that into consideration before you put the entire family into a taxi for the night.
The locals start filling the streets around 8PM but the real party starts going by 9 or 10PM when the Soca and Caribbean music fills the street. Every so often an American dance song will be thrown into the mix and the crowd goes wild. The big speakers are brought out to the streets as are local food and souvenir vendors.
Try some delicious and cheap local foods. You may not recognize many of them, but they are worth a try. Delicious BBQ chicken stands, conch, fish, and other local dishes are for sale. Don’t be afraid to try something new and, because everything is so inexpensive, if you don’t like it, give it away to someone who does. There are also people selling lots of different local drinks. You can find any number of rum punch concoctions along with local beer (Piton Beer) which will really quench your thirst after dancing to a few songs.
This party that has been going on for over 20 years has a great reputation in the Caribbean as one of the best weekly street parties around. With tourists and locals alike all coming together to relax, eat, drink and socialize, it’s a great way to get to know the people of St. Lucia.
You can catch a taxi from your hotel and your best bet is to have that same driver scheduled to pick you up at a certain time. They are used to doing this and most of the time are reliable. You can also catch a taxi at the drop-off area at any time.
Put your dancing shoes on and come hungry for some delicious local food! The Gros Islet Jump-up on Friday nights will make you wish you were staying another week just to do it again!
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