A Full Moon Bash at Trellis Bay

Music, barbecue, dancing, what's not to like about the Fireball party on Tortola?


To celebrate the full moon in Trellis Bay, fireballs, sculpted by Aragorn's Studio, are set afire both on the beach and in the water.Mark Pillsbury

If you’re lucky enough to be sailing near the island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, on some full moon, head for Trellis Bay and the Fireball Full Moon Party. The Caribbean barbecue is delicious, the rum drinks, well, they’re rum drinks, the beach is packed, and the show is a true spectacle to behold.

It was my good fortune to be there the first week of March with the Jeanneau Yachts rendezvous. After two nights at the Bitter End Yacht Club, the fleet of boats dispersed for a couple of days, with some headed to Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke, others to Anegada, and a handful of the curious to Trellis Bay.

Unlike the adult-themed raucous full moon fest at the Bomba Shack, the Fireball Full Moon Party is a strictly G-rated family-style affair hosted by the Trellis Bay Cyber Café and nearby Aragorn’s Studio, which manufactures the metal fire balls that are set in the water along the beach.

The music and barbecue commence as sundown approaches. Then, later in the evening, when the full moon is high in the sky, the fire balls and a replica of a jumbie dancer are set afire, the flames fanned by the on-shore trade winds. I shot a short film of the party, which you can see here.

Fire dancers also entertain the crowd, but for me, the most impressive part of the night came when the jumbie dancers strode onto the beach to dance the night away. These kids on their stilts are true athletes and entertainers—and quite a hit with the ladies and lads who line up to dance between their legs.

My advice: if you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss the show.