In keeping with the Assumption tradition, August 15 is Sainte-Marie's patron saint's day, in reference to the Catholic religion's celebration of the Virgin Mary's elevation to heaven. It's the start of festivities in which the town takes center stage. Numerous performances and shows are on offer for several days, including the horse and mullet race on the square facing the islet of Sainte-Marie and the Tombolo, which has become a benchmark.
Indeed, for over 80 years, spectators from the surrounding area and other towns on the island have flocked to the waterfront to watch the show every year. The event is known as "hooves in the sand".
Thoroughbreds, half-bloods, ponies and mules compete in the various races held on the seafront for the various prizes awarded by the communes of Sainte-Marie, Trinité and the various sponsors.
The Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique is also involved in preserving and perpetuating this local tradition.