With crowd restrictions now removed by public health officials, the annual Holetown Festival is expected to be in full swing this year from February 16 to 19, the first since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee’s public relations officer, Jamarr “The Star” Brown, said this year’s version should attract hundreds of locals and tourists.
“A lot of people look forward to the festival and believe it or not, many visitors return to Barbados at this time of the year for the Holetown Festival . . . . I believe, based on watching what has been happening in terms of people being outside, that the turnout is going to be huge,” Brown said.
He also encouraged parents to bring out their children so they would be immersed in their country’s history and enjoy the various activities.
The theme of this year’s festival is Everything Bajan. It will kick off with a liming tent before the official opening on February 17 at the highly anticipated Grand Floodlit Tattoo.
During the festival, patrons can look forward to bus tours around Holetown, a vintage car parade, the street parade and free entertainment by popular Barbadian calypsonians and soca artistes, including Red Plastic Bag and Hypasounds.
ARTISAN BINGHI (left) assisting customers who were intrigued by his leather shoes. (FILE)
There will also be a fair with vendors from Massy Stores to Sunset Crest in St James who will be selling paintings, toys, plants and mostly locally-made products.
The Alfred Pragnell Memorial Talks at the Holetown Methodist Church will also be held.
However, Brown revealed that they had to drop some activities such as the Holetown Festival Pageant due to a lack of sponsorship.
“We’re cutting back on a lot of the activities in terms of the usual nights that we would have [because] we would have something usually from Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night . . . . This year though, let me say these are very, very hard financial times. We were not able to secure a lot of sponsorship,” he said.
He urged the private sector to offer more financial backing to the festival so it will not “dwindle”.
“This is 2023 and we know that these have been hard times, but we’re asking corporate Barbados; Holetown festival does not want to die, especially knowing that it is celebrating its 46th year. We do receive some help from the Government and we’re very grateful for that help, but we really need assistance from corporate Barbados, whoever or whichever company would like to come on board even as a title sponsor for our event for 2024.
“We would definitely appreciate that,” he said, while expressing gratitude to this year’s sponsors including Chefette Restaurants, which has been supporting the Grand Floodlit Tattoo since 1994. (RT)