There was something for everyone yesterday at the penultimate day of the Holetown Festival.
The street fair had vendors lining the road from Sandy Crest Medical Centre to Massy Supermarket – offering art, craft, plants, soaps, candles and more.
If you came for the parade you were not disappointed. The Sandy Crest and Coverley Medical Centres and Courtesy Garage Street Parade and Vintage Car Show included primary and secondary school groups, cadets, dance groups and, for the first time, skating groups.
President of Good Skates Cruisers, Janelle Grandison, said it was an honour to be a part of the festival.
“We have more than 50 people here today, from age four to 60-plus. It’s actually a mix of different clubs – us, Skate Life Barbados and 246 Just Skate. This is the first time skaters have been invited to the festival and we were only too happy to accept. I like the newly paved road which is good for skating,” she said.
The group performed impressive feats on wheels, dancing and spinning while having the occasional spill.
The Street Parade featured both children and adults. (Picture by Carlos Atwell)
The crowd was also impressed with members of the sea and land cadets performing precise drills, marching in unison, sometimes in opposite directions while fitting in-between each other.
There were also energetic Mother Sallys, youth stilt walkers, acrobatic Shaggy Bears and dancers performing choreographed pieces to the music.
The Sunday Sun spoke to first-time vendor Ronell Brathwaite who said it had been going well.
“I like the interaction with the people. Today is very busy and I am getting a lot of attention. I find people are getting more into natural products so I’m getting a good response so I plan to be back next year,” she said.
Local craft was on sale at Holetown Festival. (Picture by Carlos Atwell)
Another first-time vendor, who would only give the name of the business – Sweet Scentsations Barbados – said there was a lot of foot traffic but not a lot of sales.
“We enjoyed the festivities earlier but now things have quieted down so we’re hoping business picks up this evening when outside is cooler,” he said.
Helen Cole and Julia Barnes originally come from the United Kingdom but have made Barbados their home. They have been coming to Holetown Festival for more than a decade and had missed it terribly.
“I loved the parade . . . . I liked seeing the kids on the stilts and the skaters. My only thing is ‘where was the opening ceremony?’
“The truth is, Holetown Festival is pretty much all that is left of old Barbados here in Holetown after [big companies] have changed up everything. We come here for the festival and meet friends we don’t see the rest of the year,” said Barnes.
Cole said there were just as many people, if not more, attending this year as from 2020 and before. She admired the high quality of the vendor offerings which she said had improved from previous festivals.
Another patron, who declined to give her name, said she usually attended the festival every year. She said it was still struggling a bit to get back its footing after the pandemic halted it for two years.
“Honestly to me the parade was not as organised as before but I enjoyed the skaters going through their routines. I also like arts and craft and I would like to have a portrait of me painted,” she said.
The rest of the day included Schools In Action On The Big Stage; the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Dooflicky; a celebrity mixologist competition and Soca Rumble. The street fair ends today. (CA)