The largest religious celebration in Belize has to be the Benque Fiesta. And this year, the festival got just a bigger! The annual extravaganza held in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, Cayo District, honors their patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nuesta Señora de Monte Carmelo) and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. In honor of the golden achievement, preparations are underway for a can’t-miss event.Benque Fiesta-3
For as long as I can remember, July meant making plans to attend the Benque Fiesta. Benque Fest (5)With traditional marimba bands, local food and drinks, games, mechanical rides, cultural presentations, sports events, and dance nights, Benque Fiesta has something for everyone.Benque Fest (4) The festival attracts a host of visitors from all parts of the country, and even internationally.Benque Fest (1)
The commemoration of the patron saint lasts for a period of about 16 days, starting with solemn religious celebrations prior to the main festival. The focal point of the festival is Saturday, July 16th, when there is fun for all ages.Benque Fiesta-2
Festivities commence with a procession from the Benque Viejo del Carmen Roman Catholic Church to the Cancha Marshallek where the official opening ceremonies and activities are held. Benque Fiesta-1Once the ceremonies are over and the fair is declared open by the Mayor of the town, a truly spectacular fireworks show signals the beginning of the celebrations.Benque Fest (2)
This year’s Benque Fiesta will see activities being held from Thursday, July 14th to Sunday, July 17th. Don’t miss it!

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. She loves sharing her adventures with her daughter Inori, hoping to encourage her to lead an adventurous life and enjoy the beauty of the world around her. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

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