Sunday, 17 February 2013

Holetown Festival

The Holetown Festival is a week of cultural events and activities held every year during the month of February, to commemorate the landing of the first settlers in Barbados. 
Holetown is situated on the west coast of the island.

In 1627, between February 17th and 20th, eighty English Settlers landed at what is known as Holetown, aboard a ship called the William and John . With them were ten African slaves, who had been captured on the voyage. It is from this day that Barbados became a British Colony.

The name Holetown comes from the stream, The Hole, which provided a safe landing place for the settlers.
Not only is Holetown the oldest town in Barbados, it is also one of the earliest settled towns in the English Caribbean.  It was originally named Jamestown, after its benefactor, King James I of England.

The first festival was created by Alfred Pragnell (broadcaster extraordinaire/actor) and was held over a weekend in 1977 to celebrate the Anniversary of the First Settlement of Barbados. It's now so popular it runs for an entire week. This year it ran from February 10 -17, 2013.
The week-long festival begins in mid-February with the opening celebrations taking place at The Holetown Monument. 

Holetown Monument

Lively street parade with
Tuk Band, Stilt Walkers, Acrobats and Shaggy Bears 

Green Monkey street performer

Highlights of the festival include a street fair, parades,

The beating of the Retreat by the colourful Barbados Defence Force Zouave Band,


    A Floodlit Tattoo parade by the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Mounted Police.

A Holetown Festival Pageant where a Queen of the Festival is crowned.

Several music concerts, historical lectures, tours of Holetown, exhibitions, and a street parade that features vintage and classic cars.

The street fair, held on the Saturday, usually attracts a large crowd with displays of local arts and craft, food stalls and vendors selling clothing, plants, jewelry and a whole lot more.


 I did not get the opportunity to attend the Holetown Festival this year, so I have borrowed all the images above from various websites.

Hope you enjoyed the festival!


    1. The festivals are always fun, and that's when I run into folks whom I have not seen in a long while. Don't mind we live on a small island, years can go by without running into old friends.

    2. The week was also the Art Deco week in Napier about which I have blogged in the past. I missed Art Deco Weekend because I was away at a croquet tournament. It's the first one I've missed since 2007. One of the things we have is a huge parade of veteran and vintage cars so I was delighted to see that you have some too. I have a particular fondness for the Austin Somerset and the AC Cobra is a real beast. In fact the whole event looks fun and well worth a visit.

    3. Sorry you missed your Art Deco weekend, but you were off having fun and doing what you love....playing croquet. Don't you wish sometimes you could split yourself in two?
      This weekend is a different kind of festival..Agrofest...which I hope to attend, so look out for a LONNNG post soon.


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