Agrofest 2016 Experience
Experience Agrofest the annual three-day festival in Barbados highlighting the Agricultural business of Barbados held at Queens Park in the heart of Bridgetown.
It attracts large numbers of local people and visitors to the island. Many different exhibitors are exhibiting a variety of livestock, flowers, vegetables, plants, craft items, healthy booths, and educational items. They are many booths where various products can be sampled like pork sausages by Farmers Choice and Rum by Cockspur.
I have always wanted to go to Agrofest but every year when the time comes around for this festival there always seemed to be something else on the agenda. This year I was determined to make it to Queens Park to experience the festival.
I didn’t make it to the park until Sunday morning, but I was quickly impressed with how organized everything was. From the ticket booth outside the gates where we purchased our tickets, to the quick entrance into the park, the ease of parking – everything was pleasant – from the lady selling the ticket to the guard at the gate. Everyone welcomed up and encouraged us to have a perfect time.
As we entered Queens Park, I was shocked at how many different booths, tents, and activities at this one event.
There was the roving Suzuki booth with a display of the new cars available for sale. Close by there was a back-in-time booth with all the old time candies like nut cakes, sweetie cock, molasses sugar cakes, homemade fudge, etc. and in this tent, there was the mauby lady and the storyteller.
I have never seen a real mauby woman before. My granny talked about these women that use to balance these huge tin pots on their heads with a spigot and how they could fill a glass from this container without spilling a drop. While I was in the tent, the mauby lady was dressed in period dress, but the tinpot was on a table. This might be a dying art.
They had tents sampling all types of products, rum, sausages, beer, and different foods. Then, they had tents selling plants and produce and even tents checking your blood pressure, etc.
We traveled towards the back of the park to see the beautiful animals: cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. Most of these animals were in tip-top shape and groomed correctly. The hides of the cows were glowing with health. The nubia goats with floppy ears were a delight to see. They had a huge Black Angus Bull, a stunning Hereford cow, and half-grown calves. I was very disappointed in the pigs as even though their shelter had a roof, the sunshine came through the sides and sunburnt the pigs. These animals were registered to compete against each other for best Sheep, Cow, Bull, Goats, and Pigs. This livestock is in a tip-top shape with their coats gleaming with health.
Beyond the livestock, was a huge kids area with jumping tents, bull riding, motorized rides, and games of chance. In this field, you could buy freshwater fish in bright colored aquariums. A charming area with kids dragging their parents along giving instructions on which rides they were going to do experience first. It was beautiful to see all the families interacting with their children. The kids were decked out in their Sunday best with ribbons in their hair, sticky faces from snow cones and huge smiles. The excitement was in the air.
There were some educational workshops which patrons could sign up to take. These including demonstrations in plant care, growing crops and raising livestock, sustainable energy seminars, recycling exhibits and much much more.
For an extra dollar, you could go into the aviary and see all the neat and different birds of a feather. Ones with curly feathers, fluffy chickens, bright colored birds all singing their bird sounds. I never knew we had this many different birds on this tiny island. They were a sight to see.
By the Queens Park Steel shed was the eating area. Wow!!! So many different booths – how to choose what to eat. A pork stand, local fully cooked meals, snacks like hot dogs and hamburgers, delicious crunchy fish cakes, trucks selling smoothies and soft serve ice-cream. So many different options it was hard to choose where to spend our money.
Finally, we came across the craft area, an area where lots of local craft people were selling their handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, clay pots, handmade dolls, art, paintings, leather craft, baskets and the list goes on and on.
There were also lots of live entertainment – Unfortunately, no one was performing while we were visiting, but there was a huge stage set up to accommodate all the acts.
It was a lovely morning strolling around and investigating everything. We missed the Plantation breakfast this year but I will be going back next year, and I will make sure that I go early enough to enjoy breakfast.