19 May 2024

Celebration time on the island
Party time as Barbados strikes gold
Barbados is party central - and never more so than with the celebration of 50 years of independence this year
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he Caribbean island marks its independence from Britain, after 300 years - from when the first English settlement was founded in Holetown - next November. The day has been marked since November 30, 1966, by a national holiday on the island - and the Golden Anniversary celebrations this time will of course be extra special, running throughout November and into the New Year with sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services. A highlight will be the decorative lighting of Parliament buildings, Independence Square and the Independence Arch.
Relay teams practise for the paddleboard race
in Barbados will be able to enjoy all sorts of events - either watching or taking part -to make them feel part of the anniversary and get in the party mood. The Barbados open water swim festival runs from November 4 to 8 at Copacabana Beach in Carlisle Bay, with other swims being organised from beaches on the west and south coasts.

There will also be stand up paddle board relay races, kayak races and beach parties. The Pro Surf Fest runs from November 12 to 15 and takes place at the Soup Bowl Bathsheba from 8am to 5.30pm every day. This is the biggest surf event on the island and you can watch spectacular surfing as well as half pipe demonstrations from local skaters, the famous bikini contest, live music and enjoy local food. The Food, Wine and Rum Festival runs from November 19 to 22.

Top international chefs will treat visitors to fine cuisine and cooking demonstrations with wine experts also on hand. You can learn how Barbados was the birthplace of rum and find out what goes into making the perfect punch. The Marathon Weekend begins on December 4 and includes a mile fun run through St Lawrence Gap, a 5km fun run and walk and a 10km race. On the Sunday there will be a marathon and half marathon. The Classical/Pops Festival begins on December 10 and is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. And in January there's the Mount Gay Rum Race, when yachts bid for bragging rights in a competition that began in the 19th century.

Original article published in Jan 2016. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Streets, shops and businesses throughout the capital Bridgetown will be adorned in the national colours of blue and gold. A festival of creative arts will showcase the artistic talents of the locals in music, singing, dance, drama and crafts. Holidaymakers
"A highlight will be the decorative lighting of Parliament buildings."
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