Festival O’ Fish: Oistins Fish Festival 2023
by Karen Rollins Mar 27, 2023
The annual Oistins Fish Festival will be held this Easter bank holiday weekend from 7-10 April under the theme ‘Festival O’ Fish’.
This family-friendly event honours the fisherfolk in Oistins and usually attracts over 30,000 locals and tourists. In 2022, the festival was reduced to three days from a week because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year it will remain a three-day event.
Many of the most popular activities will still be included though, such as fish boning, the Easter bonnet competition, strong man boat pulling, net throwing, Celebrity Cookoff, and the greasy pole contest.
A cooking competition called ‘Sea Tuh Stove’ has also been added, and the popular 5km walk and run for charitable causes is back on Monday 10 April at 5.30am. Registration for the walk / run is $35 (BBD).
Food and drink will be on sale throughout the festival along with local arts and crafts from street vendors.
The Oistins Fish Festival was started in 1977 by the leaders of community groups in the Christ Church area, along with Lady Stella St. John and the late Sir Harold Bernard St. John.
According to the official website, the main objectives of the festival are to:
- Revive the town as a thriving hive of social and economic activity.
- Develop the entrepreneurial skills of small businesspeople.
- Encourage recognition of the town’s fisherfolk.
- Inspire a sense of pride, high esteem, and belonging among the residents of Oistins.
Alongside the regular Friday night fish fry in Oistins, this festival is one of the main highlights on the island’s cultural calendar. It also provides a glimpse into the significant role the fishing industry has played in Barbados’ development.