Fes­ti­vals & Events

CUR­RENT CAL­EN­DAR OF EVENTS

Bar­ba­dos’ Cul­tural Cel­e­bra­tions and Festivals


Not only is Bar­ba­dos the land of Sun and Sea, it is also the home of var­i­ous cul­tural cel­e­bra­tions and fes­ti­vals. When you plan for your vaca­tion on this beau­ti­ful island, why not take the time to have some fun and see what Bar­ba­dos has to offer! Be sure to check out what fes­ti­vals may be tak­ing part dur­ing your stay; you wouldn’t want to miss the oppor­tu­nity to see a dif­fer­ent side of this unique island, and learn more about its fas­ci­nat­ing customs.

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CUL­TURAL CELEBRATIONS

Hole­town Festival

In the year 1627 British sailors estab­lished Hole­town, Bar­ba­dos first known set­tle­ment, on the West Coast. To com­mem­o­rate this his­toric event, there is an annual week-​long cel­e­bra­tion in Feb­ru­ary, known as the Hole­town Fes­ti­val. This event fea­tures many inter­est­ing parades, dancers, live music, arts and crafts booths, and of course, deli­cious Bajan del­i­ca­cies! If you are in Bar­ba­dos around this time be sure to be part of this colour­ful and fun-​filled event.



Bar­ba­dos Celtic Festival

Barbados celtic festival ENTS4This Music Fes­ti­val high­lights the strong con­nec­tion between Bar­ba­dos and Celtic coun­tries, fea­tur­ing music with fla­vors from Scot­land, Ire­land and Wales. Occur­ring every year, in the last two weeks of May, the Bar­ba­dos Celtic Fes­ti­val high­lights many celebrity chefs and top dancers and musi­cians.



Bar­ba­dos Inde­pen­dence Day

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Novem­ber 30th is cel­e­brated, annu­ally, as Inde­pen­dence Day here in Bar­ba­dos. This day has been observed ever since Bar­ba­dos gained its Inde­pen­dence from Britain in 1966. The coun­try cel­e­brates this his­toric occa­sion through­out the month of Novem­ber, with events such as sports com­pe­ti­tions, street fairs, cul­tural events and reli­gious ser­vices.


Bar­ba­dos Music Awards

From its incep­tion in 2006, this pres­ti­gious awards cer­e­mony has show­cased and hon­oured the best and most promis­ing of Bar­ba­dos’ musi­cal artists.This red car­pet affair brings out the Bar­ba­dian glit­terati to enjoy live per­for­mances by top-​rated local and for­eign musi­cians and enter­tain­ers like Fan­ta­sia, our own super­star Rihanna, Trinidad’s Machel Mon­taño, the Amer­i­can R&B group Allure and many oth­ers. This show remains a dis­tin­guished part of Bar­ba­dos’ musi­cal land­scape.
Held on the pic­turesque gar­dens of Holder’s House, this annual arts fes­ti­val takes the form of an out­door the­atre show­cas­ing top notch artists, not only from Bar­ba­dos, Canada, USA, Eng­land and Europe. Tra­di­tion­ally held towards the end of March, Holder’s Sea­son fea­tures, among other activ­i­ties, live jazz, opera and stand-​up com­edy. Patrons can expect to find food and wine to sat­isfy any taste as they enjoy the delight­ful ambi­ence and the won­der­ful per­for­mances pre­sented. This is cer­tainly an event not to be missed.


Gospelfest

With hun­dreds of churches from many denom­i­na­tions dot­ting its’ land­scape, it is no sur­prise that Bar­ba­dos hosts one of the largest reli­gious song fes­ti­vals in the region. Gospelfest, which has graced the musi­cal cal­en­dar for nearly 20 years, takes place dur­ing the month of May at loca­tions through­out the island; it is a cel­e­bra­tion of gospel music which attracts pop­u­lar acts from all over the world fea­tur­ing such musi­cal gen­res as reg­gae, jazz, soul and calypso.


SPORT­ING EVENTS
Bar­ba­dos Darts Festival

The Bar­ba­dos Darts Fes­ti­val show­cases inter­na­tional and regional darts play­ers of all skill lev­els com­pet­ing in a series of friendly and cham­pi­onship games. Par­tic­i­pants also take part in leisure activ­i­ties, such as cata­ma­ran cruis­ing, swim­ming with the tur­tles and island safari. It’s a great way to enjoy one of the world’s most sought after des­ti­na­tions. This fes­ti­val is usu­ally held annu­ally in late Octo­ber or early Novem­ber.


EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Bar­ba­dos Hor­ti­cul­tural Society’s Annual Show

This annual show held by the Bar­ba­dos Hor­ti­cul­tural Soci­ety at Balls Plan­ta­tion in the parish of Christ Church is a haven for nature lovers; it is exhi­bi­tion of the most beau­ti­ful and exotic flora offered by Bar­ba­dos and the other islands of the Caribbean.
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The Soci­ety uses this plat­form to show off its award-​winning hor­ti­cul­tural and flower-​arranging exper­tise.


Oistins Fish Festival

Located on Bar­ba­dos’ south coast is Oistins, one of the four towns on the island. Oistins is renowned, not only for the deli­cious fish dishes served up by the numer­ous restau­rants and eater­ies in the area, but for the musi­cal and other forms of enter­tain­ment. Locals and tourists, alike, make a bee-​line for Oistins on Fri­day nights to be part of the mas­sive crowd which never dis­perses until the wee hours of the morning.


The Fes­ti­val, which is held every year at Easter, seeks to put on dis­play the vari­ety of skills pos­sessed by the fisher folk who catch and pre­pare the mar­lin, tuna, red snap­per, bar­racuda, fly­ing fish and mahi mahi for Bar­ba­dian tables. Vis­i­tors like, not only the cama­raderie, danc­ing to calypso music and the local art and craft, but they enjoy such excit­ing activ­i­ties as boat rac­ing, fish bon­ing, the Land Ship, ball­room danc­ing, Karaōke and climb­ing the greasy pole.


Crop Over Festival

Crop Over is, with­out doubt, the most pop­u­lar, vibrant, and highly antic­i­pated fes­ti­vals on the island. The fes­ti­val has its ori­gins in the days when the islanders would have a mas­sive cel­e­bra­tion on the streets to mark the end of the sugar cane har­vest– hence the name “Crop Over.” This tra­di­tion has main­tained its pop­u­lar­ity through­out the years, and has evolved into the col­or­ful and musi­cally delight­ful fes­ti­val that it is today.

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Crop Over, which draws par­tic­i­pants from as far as Europe, the USA and Canada, is in the same league as the annual car­ni­val cel­e­bra­tions which take place in Trinidad and other West Indian islands, Brazil, Britain, Canada and the USA. The fes­ti­val, which offi­cially begins around the begin­ning of July when the var­i­ous “tents” seek to air approx­i­mately 500 calyp­sos for the enjoy­ment of a host of fans of the calypso art form.

The extrav­a­ganza, which is hosted by the National Cul­tural Foun­da­tion, is a cor­nu­copia of musi­cal enter­tain­ment, an array of excit­ing cos­tumes and a frenzy of “wukking up” and mer­ri­ment. Among the events which are eagerly antic­i­pated by “party ani­mals” are Pan on de sand, Pick o’ de Crop, Soca Royale, Party Monarch, Cohob­blopot, Fore­day Morn­ing Jam, Kid­dies Kadoo­ment and the grand finale, Kadoo­ment Day Jam. As a pop­u­lar Bajan jin­gle goes– Crop Over is more than a fes­ti­val– it sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet fuh days!


National Inde­pen­dence Fes­ti­val of the Cre­ative Arts (NIFCA)

Also known as NIFCA, this fes­ti­val was first inau­gu­rated in 1973 as part of the island’s Inde­pen­dence cel­e­bra­tions. Held through­out the month of Novem­ber, NIFCA show­cases Bajan cre­ativ­ity in Dance, Drama/​Speech, Music, Lit­er­ary Arts, Culi­nary Arts, Visual Arts and Crafts and Pho­tog­ra­phy. After the breath­tak­ing per­for­mances and exhi­bi­tions, the fes­ti­val ends with a gala that intro­duces the win­ners.


Bar­ba­dos Food, Wine & Rum Festival

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Held at a series of inter­est­ing venues across Bar­ba­dos for one week­end in Novem­ber, this fes­ti­val attracts not only the best local chefs and bar­tenders, but other experts from around the world. First held in 2010, this fes­ti­val now attracts more than 10,000 locals and vis­i­tors. Guests have the oppor­tu­nity to let their taste buds run free as they sam­ple culi­nary delights, great wines and fan­tas­tic rum.


Much More on Fes­ti­vals & Events Com­ing Soon!

RELATED ARTI­CLES
Crop Over Festival Bar­ba­dos Agrofest
Hole­town Fes­ti­val Bar­ba­dos Nightlife
Hold­ers Season His­tory of Babados
Cur­rent Edi­tion of Caribbean Dreams Magazine


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