Festival showcases true beauty of Belize

17th Apr 2013

Visitors wanting to experience the true Belize should head to the Central American nation this summer for the country's forty-fifth Annual Benque Festival.

Benque Viejo del Carmen, usually shortened to Benque, is a small town in the Cayo District of western Belize, close to the Guatemalan border.

Every year 12,000 people descend on the town to honour its patroness, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with laughter, music and dancing.

The 10-day festival runs from July 7 to 16 and has expanded from humble beginnings into one of the biggest spectacles in Belize.

Guests will get the chance to sample traditional Belizean cuisine, take Ferris wheel rides and watch breathtaking firework displays, parades and sports tournaments, while musical acts including Mexico Discotheque and Gilharry 7 will take to the stage for live performances.

The festival also features the famous crowning of the "Senorita Flor de la Feria" - Miss Flower of the Fair - and a series of nightly dances.

A prayer ceremony is held at 4am each morning at the Catholic Church to allow revellers to align themselves spiritually and mentally for the action-packed day ahead.

After prayer, festival-goers dance to the rhythms of the marimba as they partake of typical Benqueño foods, while each day is brought to a close with mass and fireworks.


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