Fetes, fairs, fish fries flourish in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- From opera to gospel, street fairs to fish fries, Barbados serves up plenty of tradition with its calendar of festivals each year.

A listing of some of the major events for 2001 follows:

  • Holetown Festival, Feb. 18 to 25.
  • This festival commemorates the landing of the first settlers in Barbados at Holetown in the province of St. James in 1627.

    Highlights include street fairs and concerts.

  • Holder's Opera Season, March 13 to 30.
  • Held at Holder's Hill in St. James, this event is a combination of musical and theatrical performances.

    Founded in 1993, Holder's season draws audiences and performers from around the world.

  • Oistins Fish Festival, April 14 to 16.
  • Taking place in the small town of Oistins in the province of Christ Church, the program includes fishing, boat racing, fish-boning competitions, a Coast Guard exhibition, fish fries, arts and crafts showings and music.

  • Congaline Street Festival, April 23 to May 1.
  • This minicarnival in Barbados' capital city, Bridgetown, features a daily exhibition forum and marketplace; musical entertainment; local arts and crafts stalls, and plenty of culture.

    It culminates in a one-day band parade through the streets of Bridgetown.

  • GospelFest, May 20 to 27.
  • Also around since 1993, this festival attracts gospel musicians from the U.S. and the U.K. along with other islands of the Caribbean.

    Musical performances take place around the island in various locations.

  • Crop Over, July 14 to Aug. 6.
  • The festival originated on the island's sugar plantations as a means for slaves to celebrate the end of the sugarcane harvesting season.

    During this event, the island's residents and visitors alike celebrate this tradition with street fairs, concerts, jump-up parades and a variety of cookouts.

    For further information or details on any of the festivals, contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at (800) 221-9831 or visit the BTA's Web site at www.barbados.org.

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