St. Lucia makes it easy to experience its proud Creole tradition.
St Lucia won Islands Magazine's 2000 Ecotourism Award for its Heritage Tourism Programme, a strong and creative approach that introduces visitors to both the country's Creole heritage and its outstanding natural beauty.
The Heritage Tourism Programme has identified landmark locations that tourists are encouraged to visit on their own in rental cars or visit as part of an escorted tour. By taking tourists out into all regions of the island, the economic benefits of tourism are distributed to broader segments of society.
The programs include a Castries historical walking tour, a visit to the Folk Research Centre, the Friday night Anse La Raye Fish Fry and several gardens and estates. The Fond Latisab Creole Park displays classic Creole traditions such as preparing cassava bread, catching river crawfish and beekeeping. Information and advance arrangements can be made at www.heritagetoursstlucia.com .
Festival of Lights and Renewal: Held on December 13, the celebration honors the patron saint of light, St. Lucy, with a switching on of the Christmas lights and a lantern-making competition. This date was traditionally known as St. Lucia 's National Day when it was thought that Columbus discovered the island. After it was realized he never set foot here, St. Lucians kept the holiday but renamed it Festival of Lights and Renewal.