It’s quite the challenge to go to Barbados without encountering some form of party or festival and, aside from the gorgeous scenery and highly coveted climate, Barbados’ endless stream of fun events is what appeals the island to its many visitors.
Although you’ll always find a shindig to enjoy in Barbados, here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular events throughout the year so that you don’t have to miss out.
Oistins Fish Festival
Every Easter weekend, the famous Oistins Fish Festival descends upon Barbados. Showing support for the local fishermen, Bajans and visitors head down to the south coast to experience the fish festival in all its glory: fish cook-offs, stalls, and food samples - and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Even if you’re not a big lover of fish, you’ll still find activities to enjoy, such as the tug of war competition, live comedy acts, and even an incorporated gospel festival.
When: 15th April - 17th April
Barbados International Fishing Tournament
The Barbados International Fishing Tournament, which is run by Barbados Game Fishing Association, attracts hundreds of anglers from across the globe, all with one goal: to make some impressive catches in Barbados’ tranquil waters.
In true Caribbean style, this competition has more of an emphasis on having fun than winning, and there are plenty of activities on the docks to keep the supports entertained.
But it’s not just the great catches that give this event its charm. If you attend, you’ll also be able to enjoy a hog roast, cocktail parties, live music, wine tasting, and even a fashion show. With such a diverse range of activities on offer, the Barbados International Fishing Tournament is not an event to miss out on.
When: 19th - 23rd April
Whether you’re into extreme water sports or relaxing on the beach, you’ll be able to indulge yourself at the Waterman Festival.
The festival itself is comprised of events and competitions, with participants being able to compete in fishing, windsurfing, kite surfing, swimming, surfing, stand-up paddling, and conch shell blowing. But, even if you’re not competing, you can enjoy the beach environment and competitive atmosphere, cheering on the participants.
With art exhibitions, live music, and parties on top of the water sports, there’s no excuse to not enjoy your time at the Waterman Festival.
When: 1st - 5th June
Barbados National Triathlon
The annual Barbados National Triathlon is hosted by BFIT and is one of the island’s most exciting events, regardless of whether you’re participating or supporting because the atmosphere is infectious.
The triathletes endure impressive distances of swimming, biking, and running across the island, and are heavily encouraged by their lively spectators. There’s even a Tri-Kids event for the younger athletes to take part in, so this event really does cater for the whole island.
When: 8th October
Crop Over Festival
Crop Over Festival is arguably one of Barbados’ biggest annual events and it’s been going strong since the 1780s. The festival is held at the end of the sugar season in celebration of another successful year of harvesting sugar cane on the island.
The extravaganza begins with the Opening Gala and the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, where the most productive male and female crop workers of the year will be crowned King and Queen of the Crop Over Festival.
After a week of carnivals, concerts, exhibitions, and merriment, Crop Over Festival draws to a close with the Grand Kadooment, which features live music, exceptional food and drink, and even a dip in the sea.
When: 30th July - 7th August
Barbados Food and Rum Festival
Barbados is famous for its culinary delights and is maybe even more famous for its rum, so it’s hardly surprising that the annual food and rum festival is such a hit with both locals and visitors alike.
At the festival, you can watch the renowned local and international chefs prepare world class Bajan cuisine before
you feast, attend culinary seminars, and embark on fascinating rum tours. Amongst all the wining and dining, there are parties, cruises, and galas, making this the ultimate event in any Barbados diary.
When: November 23rd - November 26th