Sunday, 16 February 2014

Holetown Festival 2014 - Part 1 - The Parades

During my Saturday jaunt yesterday, I decided to visit this year's Holetown Festival which is held every year to celebrate the arrival of the first settlers on the island.
The Holetown monument to mark the site landing of the first English settlers to Barbados.

The Holetown Monument commemorates the initial landing in 1625 and the initial settlement in 1627

The first English ship captained by John Powell arrived on 14 May 1625 (not 1605 as stated on the monument.)
Captain Henry Powell arrived in February 1627 with the first permanent settlers.
 A plaque on the base of the monument, put in place in 1975 on the occasion of the first Holetown Festival, sets the record straight on the date of the arrival of the English settlers.
 Due to an unknown circumstance, 1625 was erroneously recorded historically in Barbados as 1605. 

The name Holetown comes from the stream, The Hole, which provided a safe landing place for the settlers.

 Every year in mid-February the western coastal town of Holetown, comes alive with the celebration of the Holetown Festival. 
This week-long festival is now in its 38th year.

The Holetown Festival includes many services, parades, street fair and market showcasing a host of Bajan food, arts and crafts as well as other events to commemorate this historic event.

With the police directing traffic in the area, it was a nightmare to find parking, but I managed to scoot into a little side avenue and walk back to the festival area.
Just in time too, for the street parades were just was about to start.
The Vintage Car Parade was first with an array of old cars, tractors and jeeps.
There were so may cars that it was impossible to capture all of them especially having to jostle between the crowds of locals and tourists, many of whom were car enthusiasts wanting to get the best photos. I was outnumbered but still managed to get some fairly decent photos at least for identification.

Old time Bajan bus


This little one had the crowd in stitches

The Flintstones car was a sight to behold feet needed to drive

This poor car never made it to the just refused to start

This one made a valiant attempt but then gave up during the parade.....oh dear.

"Miss Holetown Queen of the Festival"
waving to her subjects
Then came the bands.

Barbados Defence Force

Little boy Scouts

.......and big boy Scouts

Zouave Regiment Band of the Barbados Defense Force

Tuk Band
A Tuk Band is a Barbadian musical ensemble which plays tuk or rukatuk music consisting of pennywhistle flute (replaced the bow-fiddle), kittle triangle, snare and double-headed bass drums.
The kittle and bass drum provide the rhythm and the flute gives the melody.
The drums are light-weight so they can be carried easily.

Tuk Bands are usually accompanied by the Landship.
The Barbadian Landship movement originated in 1837. It is an informal entertainment organization based on the British navy. Their performances mock through mimicry and satire the structure of the British Navy. It is comprised of various ranked officials in the navy including Lord High Admiral, Captain, Boatswain and others and reflects the passage of ships through rough seas.

Young Landship members following the commands of the Captain.

After the parade was over, it was time to check out the arts and crafts.
You may read more on the Holetown Festival here.


  1. Very colorful! Looks like fun! :o) I could use some warmth and sunshine, for sure!

    1. It sure was a fun-filled festival, and it's always good when I can experience it through the eyes of first timers.
      I hope spring will come around for you soon. My girlfriend in VA said they had a pile of snow.

  2. What a fantastic Festival. So much activity. It has really brightened up a rainy night in England. Thanks for such a lovely post.

    1. So happy that my post could brighten your spirits on a rainy night.
      Glad you're up and feeling much know I mean that....I miss you when you're away.

  3. I suppose when records were handwritten a 2 could easily look like a zero. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few historical events are a bit inaccurately recorded. It looks like a wonderful festival though and I'm you had fun. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Especially with the old script that historians used to record events....anything is possible.
      Hope Missy is doing well.

  4. That is a really really really (3 x really = my highest accolade) wonderful Festival. There was an Austin Atlantic (the pale green open top with the hood up) which is rare and some other lovely car examples. The way to my heart! All in all a truly memorable post Virginia.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post GB....I remembered you and CJ while I was taking the photos and hoped and prayed they would be okay for your guys to enjoy.
      There were so many other cars including a Bentley which is my favourite and somehow I missed that photo op when it drove by.


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