The Holetown Festival is generally held during February in the parish of St. James, on the sunny west coast of Barbados.
This annual event is rich in culture and celebrates both English and African heritage. It was in Holetown (formerly known as St. James Town) in 1627 where the first English settlers landed in Barbados.
The festival commemorates the anniversary of this original landing and the day Barbados officially became a British Colony.
Some of the opening celebrations and action even takes place at the historic Holetown Monument – a landmark which also commemorates this first landing by the English.
The popular festival comprises a week of events and entertainment including live orchestras, dance performances, a beauty contest, fashion shows, sporting events and steel pan bands.
You can get amongst the action of the festival by taking a journey on a bus tour of the historic town, listening to public lectures and remembrance talks, visiting the exhibitions held in the Holetown Museum, and enjoying the vintage car parade, amongst other street parades during the festivities.
You’ll be sure to find a diverse array of street fair stalls selling everything from local food and drinks, to Bajan-made arts and crafts including pottery, sculpture, painting and other fine art pieces.
You’ll find lots to see and do, and the carnival atmosphere is always a hit with the children (and all those children at heart!).
The festival showcases free-open air concerts by the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Barbados Defence Force bands.
You can also watch the Barbados Tattoo show – a traditional outdoor equestrian display organised by the Royal Barbados Police Force. The show always takes place on the only Friday night during the festival and is always a treat to see.
The festival also features military demonstrations, live music ranging from gospel to calypso, folk dancing, and even a karaoke competition – a definite crowd favourite and festival highlight!
The Holetown Festival is a must visit attraction and experience to get a real feel for Barbados and its deep-rooted heritage and culture.
Mark the next festival dates in your diary and come and celebrate at this historically significant festival of facts, fun and Bajan heritage.
For more information visit: http://www.holetownfestivalbarbados.org.
Author: Brett Callaghan.