Nine Nights of Lights

The hanging of Christmas lights is a widely popular tradition to ring in the holidays. St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Christmas celebrations truly shine as they light up the Botanical Gardens for their Nine Nights of Lights.


Started in 2015 for the 250th anniversary of the Botanical Gardens, Mr. Gordon Shallow, Curator of the Botanical Gardens, conceptualized the idea of pairing the National Nine Mornings Celebrations with a Nine Nights of Lights for the month of December. The inspiration came from his foster grandmother who had told him stories of going for moonlit strolls in the gardens.

Photo: Jamali Jack

Annual Celebration

Nine Nights of Lights allows the community to appreciate the country’s various forms of entertainment such as dance groups, drum lines, and gospel singers. The lights are interactive, so people can stand and have photos taken with moving lights and holiday figurines such as Santa’s sleigh.

Opening night is the biggest celebration. There are many different acts including Christmas music performed by the Royal St. Vincent & the Grenadines Police Band and locally acclaimed singers, as well as the official turning on of the lights by the Honorable Cecil McKie, Minister of Tourism. The whole event is made as family friendly as possible with activities for children like drama night and Christmas caroling night as well as food and other items being offered for sale.

Nine Nights of Lights in the St. Vincent Botanical Gardens is held annually from December 15 to 23 and, like the Nine Mornings Festival (held December 16 to 24), is unique to St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Recipe: French Toast


It’s easy to remember the most important meal of the day if French toast is on the menu! This pastry delight is a guest favorite at Young Island, and by popular demand, our talented chefs are sharing their recipe.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 drop vanilla
  • 6 slices of your favorite bread


First, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Then, dip both sides of the bread into the egg mixture. Melt butter on hot frying pan, and then add bread. Flip until brown on both sides. For a sweet topping, add whipping cream or maple syrup. Enjoy!

A Doctor’s Dream Lives on 40 Years Later

More than forty years ago, an American doctor and scuba diver wrote about St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a medical journal, mentioning seagulls flying over the crystal blue waters. Shortly after reading this article, Dr. Sam Massey, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist, was invited to explore the island for himself.

Co-owner of Young Island Resort, Dr. Frederick Ballantyne, a cardiologist by trade, served as the country’s Chief Medical Officer at Kingstown General Hospital, now known as Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Ballantyne is always eager to welcome specialty doctors to visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and assist in areas where there is a need. Dr. Ballantyne informed missionary Dr. Orville Browne of the need for services from an ENT specialist. This led Dr. Browne to contact Dr. Massey who, together with optometrist Dr. Bob Fisch, decided to start a medical volunteer mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mobile Medical Mission

The first mobile medical mission took place in 1980 including the services of Dr. Massey and Dr. Fisch along with ophthalmologist Dr. Eric Purdy who was brought on board with other volunteers who ran clinics organized by the Lions Club of St. Vincent.

On the medical missions, the U.S. based doctors and volunteers conduct eye exams, fittings for eye glasses and perform eye surgeries. The goal is to provide proper medical care for persons throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines who would not otherwise have the means to pay for a doctor.

Expanding in the Caribbean

Today, the team consists of ophthalmologists Dr. Kathy McCabe, Dr. John Dagianis, and Dr. Warren Sobol along with optometrist Dr. Joe Chambers. The Mobile Medical Mission has served in 20 different countries including Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Throughout the years, there have been approximately 60 missions to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with up to three visits per year.

Every year, the Mobile Medical Mission pays to have thousands of used eye glasses (sourced by United States Lions Clubs) shipped to the Lions Club of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to have the eye glasses stored for use during the annual missions.

Family joins the cause

Over the years, the families of Dr. Massey, Dr. Purdy, and Dr. McCabe have joined the team by providing support services at the clinics. Dr. Massey, who now considers himself to be the Mission’s “cheerleader”, has had three generations of Massey’s on the team. Apart from himself, his son Dr. Chip Massey, a neuroradiologist, and his grandson, Sam Massey, have all been volunteers.

A home away from home

The owners of Young Island recognize the value of this medical mission, and for the past forty years, Young Island has supported the Mobile Medical Mission by offering concessionary room rates to the entire team.

Longtime team members consider Young Island to be their “home away from home” and look forward to connecting with the resort’s longstanding staff every year. At the end of each day, as they board the resort’s ferry to return to the island, the mission team knows they will be met with warm, welcoming smiles.

Vincy Mas: June 29-July 10

Carnival is a tradition celebrated throughout the Caribbean. In St. Vincent and The Grenadines, the festival is Vincy Mas, an annual summer event celebrating the island’s arts and culture.

Continue reading

Celebrating Milestones with High Tea

At Young Island, we appreciate the importance of celebrating milestones and creating new memories to last a lifetime. We were delighted when a local guest asked to host her 70th birthday celebration at our resort this May. Continue reading

Young Island Staff Member to Compete in 2019 Special Olympics

Rudolph Thompson, a St. Vincent native, has been working at Young Island for the past twenty five years. This dedicated staff member works in the resort kitchen, and will also be competing in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. Continue reading

SVG Attraction Highlight: Dark View Falls

A visit to Dark View Falls’ cascading twin waterfalls promises stunning natural beauty and exhilarating outdoor adventure. Continue reading

SVG Attraction Highlight: St. Mary’s Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral on St. Vincent

St. Vincent and The Grenadines boasts a rich history beyond its natural beauty and blissful beaches.  Standing out among the light-colored, Georgian architecture of St. Vincent’s capital city, Kingstown, is the striking St. Mary’s Cathedral. Continue reading

Guest Spotlight: The Carrolls

10 Years of Vacation Memories

In her quest to find the ideal spot to vacation and dive in 2008, Dr. Klobia Carroll came across Young Island. She wished to find a place which was unpretentious, but had the comfort, service and cuisine of a fine resort. Klobia vacationed at Young Island and has since visited eight more times. Continue reading

Sunday Lunch Buffet

Savor Sunday lunch at Young Island. Each week, our talented chefs prepare a delicious spread of island cuisine.

Favorite entrees include curried goat/beef, chicken, and fish.

The homemade fruit chutney, grated coconut, hard boiled eggs and raisins are also quite popular, and can be enjoyed on top of rice or as a side. Continue reading

Scroll to top