The small island of Barbados enjoys an active social scene filled with exciting festivals which all showcase our history, culture, sports and our love for all things fun.
While they are a fair bit of festivals throughout the year – let’s be realistic, we can’t attend every last one, so here is a list of this year’s festivals and let’s see which ones will make it onto our to-do list!
Sugar and Rum Festival (January 15th – April 15th, 2018)
Everyone knows that Barbados is the land that invented rum, and everyone also knows that Barbados is the land where tourists save their hard earned money to experience year after year. So, the ‘Barbados Tourism Product Authority’ has recognized that Barbadians also need to not only be apart of that history but, to also experience the rich heritage that puts Barbados on the map!
‘The Barbados Sugar and Rum Season’ allows you to experience sugar and rum…duh – but with an educational and fun twist!
Will it make the list? Of course it does! We’ve had the chance to enjoy a Spirit Tasting and Food Pairing, toured St.Nicholas Abbey, been to the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and enjoyed many fantastic Sandals experiences. Therefore this is a no-brainer but, we are most excited to experience the rum expo, the chocolate & pastry class and possibly doing things that we’ve done before…again!
So to tell you the truth, I can’t wait because this just has Steven and Bernadette written all over it!
Naniki Barbados Music Festival (January 20th – 21st, 2018)
The Naniki Music Festival takes jazz lovers on an amazing musical journey with a phenomenal lineup of both Caribbean and international artists. Over the years artists such as Chrisette Michelle, Miriam Makeba, Tessanne Chin, Nicholas Branker, Arturo Tappin, David Rudder and much more!
Did it make the list? Yes! Mainly because I’ve never been (so what better time than the present) plus the day 2 lineup is certainly grabbing our attention. Truth be told, I’m most excited to see Lil Rick perform with Black Banana.
The Girlfriends Expo & Arts Festival (February 3rd – 4th, 2018)
This festival celebrates and caters to all things feminine and all things beautiful in an entertaining and engaging environment. Featuring interactive workshops and engaging expos from banking institutions to spa services, hair services and even makeup!
Will it make the list? No – not this year. Two years ago I went with my mom and we had a great time, but to be honest, I can’t see it being any different. But if you’re into things like this, take your grandmother, your mother, your daughter and even a girlfriend – make it a girls day!
Barbados Holetown Festival 2018 (February 11th – 18th, 2018)
On February 17th, 1627, Captain Henry Powell landed in Holetown, then known as Jamestown with a party of 80 settlers and 10 slaves and established Barbados’ first settlement. This week-long festival, therefore, celebrates the anniversary of the first settlement of Barbados.
Will it make the list? No, as I’ve been a few times and it’s the same every time. It’s great for families and a great way to spend a day on the west of the island as this festival provides locals and visitors alike with a glimpse into not only the history but the culture of Barbados by featuring a variety of events such as beauty pageants, exhibitions, entertainment and much more!
Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup (March 3rd, 2018)
One of the most prestigious and popular horse racing events in the Caribbean, the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup is one of the most entertaining sports events. Dating back to 1982 this world-class event couldn’t have had a more fitting location – the Garrison Savannah, a World Heritage Site.
Will it make the list? ‘Horse Racing’ in Barbados is a fond tradition for many locals alike. It is not only for the horse race fanatic but rather, it is a family day that can be enjoyed by all. So, if time permits, it’s certainly a possibility.
For further information, visit Barbados Turf Club
Oistins Fish Festival (March 31st – April 2nd, 2018)
Oistins, home to the weekly ‘Oistins Fish Fry’, is Barbados’ smallest city as well as an active fishing town on the south coast of the island. Oistins is also home to the ‘Oistins Fish Festival’ which is held annually during the Easter weekend.
It is a well-known fact that Barbados is filled with exciting and engaging festivals and the Oistins Fish Festival is no different. Not only does the festival pay homage to local fishermen for their skills and essentially all things ‘fishing’ it also features exciting competitions such as the net throwing and fish boning competitions and even the greasy pole competition – and who wouldn’t want to see that!
Amongst all of the competitions, you’ll also have the chance to be entertained by live music, numerous street vendors and much much more!
Will it make the list? Yes – hopefully. I’ve never been per se and I’m really intrigued to see some people climb up a greasy pole!
For further information, visit Oistins Fish Festival
The Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival (April 22nd – 29th, 2018)
FAS Promotions presents one of the best reggae festivals in the world – The Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival!
This annual festival comprises of four fantastic reggae themed events featuring a mixture of local, regional and international Reggae artists. The best thing about the reggae festival is they there is something for anyone!
Will it make the list? No. Being more of a soca fan, I think we’ll sit this one out this year.
Barbados International Masters Football Festival (May 18th – 21st, 2018)
The BIMFF, which initially started in 1995 was driven by a love for sports as well as the entertaining yet warm nature of Barbadians. Over the years, the festival has grown 10 fold into what it is today. There are as many as 22 overseas teams and hundreds of sports tourists descend on the island to enjoy sports and most importantly our culture!
Will it make the list? To tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure as yet. It’s not something that we diehard want to do but if time permits we’ll certainly love too. Sporting events like these really bring people together and this may be the one day of the year that I’ll actually drink a beer because beer and football go hand in hand like sugar and rum.
Barbados Gospelfest (May 19th – 27th, 2018)
Barbados Gospelfest features top local, regional and international gospel talent while promoting the life-changing impact of the Holy Spirit in all persons who make contact with the festival.
Will it make the list? Yes. Considering that I’ve never been! If time permits I’m sure this will be one of those events which you weren’t too sure about but in the end, it just blows your mind!