Fish Festival stakes claim for Oistins
This year, visitors to the annual Easter weekend festival, which attracted well over 40,000 patrons over its three days, enjoyed an enhanced range of activities with heritage tours, cooking and mixology demonstrations, along with the traditional fish boning competitions and various street parades.
According to organisers, the repackaged festival sought to highlight the vibrancy of the southern fishing district and its surrounding communities, with special emphasis on cultural tourism. It was also noted that this year’s edition was the most successful and well attended in recent times.
“Oistins has so much to share with the world and we were happy to see the response this year from locals and visitors. We also think that after forty years of promoting all that Barbados has to offer that it’s high time this festival be recognised as an official national event and included on the national festival calendar,” said chairman of the organising committee, Dr Dan Carter.
“The best of Bajan culture and community is on display in Oistins every day and the Flow Oistins Fish Festival is a celebration of what the fisher folk and residents of Oistins have achieved. This place has contributed greatly to our national tourism product and we should all be treating it with the level of respect it deserves.”
The festival continues to be run by community volunteers, however, several corporate entities were added to the sponsorship pool this year, with title sponsors Flow contributing in excess of $25,000.
“We are always grateful to receive added support from the local business sector, however, it still takes approximately $150,000 to successfully stage this event, so an increase in profile and recognition would go a long way in helping the festival to grow from strength to strength,” added Carter.
“I think that because a company like Flow continues to support the festival as title sponsor, other companies are starting to pay closer attention to what’s happening in Oistins, so we thank Flow and all the other sponsors for believing in the talents of the people of this district.”
Inaugurated in 1977 by Lady St. John, wife of the late Sir Harold St. John, former Prime Minister of Barbados, the annual festival this year celebrated 41 years.