Restoration of Regatta Village
In 1966, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip made their first official visit to the Turks & Caicos Island, landing at South Caicos. When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip arrived in Cockburn Harbour on the Royal Yacht Britannia, they were greeted by a flotilla of small boats and sloops. The Queen’s visit was marked with lavish festivities including a parade, and there was even a donkey race! A reception was held at the island’s Government House and several local residents were presented with honors for public service. Shortly after her visit, the Turks and Caicos police force gained the title “Royal” in recognition of their work during her visit. It was the first time a reigning monarch visited the British overseas territory, and island pride soared.
Today, residents commemorate the Queens visit with the annual South Caicos Regatta, which is a four-day celebration held on the same parade grounds that were used in 1966. The South Caicos Regatta originally included a sail boat race and a few other events, but over time it has grown to include events for everyone in the community including: the Lil Miss Regatta Pageant, Miss Regatta Pageant, speed boat races, kite-flying competitions, junkanoo, and live band performances. Apart from the annual regatta celebration, the Queens Parade Grounds serves as the central gathering point for the community.
Regatta Village suffered severe damage from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Many of the charming historical buildings surrounding the grounds are badly damaged. The central pavilion suffered structural damage and will require significant rehabilitation efforts. And the pier that extends from the grounds into Cockburn Harbour will need to be rebuilt. As the cultural center and gathering place for the local residents, it is crucial that Regatta Village be restored and rebuilt.
The South Caicos Heritage Foundation is committed to restoring the beauty of Regatta Village, and with your help, we are sure that the South Caicos Regatta will continue to be the great event that residents look forward to each year. The South Caicos Heritage Foundation will continue to work towards preserving the history and rich culture of South Caicos.