What’s Happening in St. James

Your Guide to the Holetown Festival


When we say Barbados is rich in culture and heritage, Holetown Festival is a brilliant example.

Known as the ‘Bajan Cultural Extravaganza’, the week-long celebration showcases Barbadian cuisine, arts, music, sports and games.

First held in 1977, the festival is a celebration of the anniversary of the first English settlement in Holetown on February 17, 1627.

It is held every year during mid-February and has become a defining feature of one of Barbados’ most popular towns, Holetown.

Each year, a number of diverse events are held in the heart of St. James for tourists and locals alike.

From a Dooflicky to bus tours and steelpan concerts, the festival has something for everyone to enjoy.

So, here’s the ultimate guide to all the events that you should experience during the festival. The list of events is extensive, so try to keep up!

Bus Tour of the Historic Bridgetown

Immerse yourself in this historical journey against the backdrop of Holetown. The guided tour, which commences at the Holetown Library, is a time machine back to where it all began.

The Grand Floodlit Tattoo

Featuring The Barbados Police Service, this event displays the spectacular talents of Barbados’ military groups through music, precision exercises and demonstrations. This event involves performances by the Mount Troop, The Canine Unit and the Motorcycle Core.

Each year, there are also a few tributes to Barbadian musical treasures like the Late Carolyn Leacock and the Might Grynner.

Holetown Festival Street Fair and Parade

Enjoy a unique blend of dance, drama, arts and crafts, music and authentic Bajan cuisine. You can explore the local craft village with variety of local arts and crafts on display. If you get a bit hungry, there are a number of food stalls filled with mouth-watering local delicacies.

The parade features vintage cars, military groups and local dance groups. It’s a spectacle the entire family can enjoy.

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc DOOFLICKY

What is really a Dooflicky? Well, this particular one is a Bajan party through the streets of Holetown.

You will experience limbo dancers, fire eating, stilt walkers and so much more!

Celebrity Mixologist Competition in Association with Mount Gay Rum

You can’t have a Bajan Cultural Extravaganza without a bit of rum. Barbados is the birthplace of rum after all.

This is the ultimate Barbadian celebrity to see who can make the best rum cocktails.

Soca Rumble

Get lost in the sounds of the island’s best soca artistes. From Lil Rick, to Hypasounds and Peter Ram, you will be dancing all night long.

5K Road Walk & Run

An extravaganza can’t be complete without a little fitness. Run for a cause through the streets of Hometown! The events start at the Frederick Smith Secondary School and finish at Holetown.

“BIM Ah Come From” Concert

This is the grand finale which features The Barbados Police Service Band and the best entertainment Barbados has to offer. From soca and calypso artistes to comedians, it is truly a potpourri of Barbadian culture to end the extravaganza.

For more about Holetown Festival, visit: https://www.holetownfestivalbarbados.org

Written by: Rhe-Ann Prescod