15 August 2019
Barbados is blessed with a buzzing and vibrant events calendar, so whatever time of year you visit, you can look forward to something spectacular going on.
Celebrating the anniversary of the first English settlement in Holetown on February 17, 1627, this week-long festival in mid-February takes in a number of activities that showcase the Bajan culture and traditions of the island. Expect live steel bands, folk singing and dancing, sports and games, street parades, markets, and food stalls serving traditional Barbadian cuisine.
Taking place every Easter weekend in the scenic fishing village of Oistins, this day of family fun is another great way to enjoy the Bajan atmosphere and culture with great food, music and lots of activities. Previous years have involved a Strong Man boat pull, a celebrity cookoff, a mobile cinema, topical talks, domino competitions, and the must-see greasy pole competition.
Signalling the end of the once-dominant sugar cane crop season, this huge six-week celebration marks the culmination of another successful harvest and dates back more than 200 years. Throughout July, expect dusk-til-dawn parties, arts and crafts markets, a culinary-focused street fair as the island goes all out for what is perhaps its most lively and important festival.
This is technically part of Crop Over, but it warrants its own entry. Usually coinciding with the first Monday in August, Grand Kadooment Day is Crop Over Festival’s grand finale and sees masquerade bands stomp their way through the streets of Saint Michael to the Spring Garden Highway. The streets become packed with around 15,000 revellers - dressed in sequin costumes decorated with colourful feathers, jewels and bright accents - dancing behind music trucks and moving bars.
Anyone with a fondness for rum will want to coincide their trip to Barbados with the Barbados Food & Rum Festival in mid-October. It’s a week-long celebration of the best in Bajan cuisine and local rum comprising cook-offs, food and rum pairings, mixology demonstrations and five-star dinners served in top restaurants.
Barbados has its fair share of sports events too. Aside from the world-class cricket at Kensington Oval, the island also stages events such as the Sol Rally - the Caribbean’s biggest motorsport event (early June) - the Sandy Lane Gold Cup (early March), Dive Fest (early July), Barbados Cycling Festival (September) and Run Barbados (December).
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