Crop Over

Barbados’ grand summer celebration, beginning in early may and ending in early August marks the finish of the island’s sugar cane harvest. A historical event that can be traced all the way back to the 1780s, today it still continues to bring along true tradition, passion and patriotism amongst the people during the fun-filled festivities. It is a time filled with vibrant colours, costumes and up-beat music, where the sweet calypso sounds can be found filling the airwaves with their infectious beats.

The action packed 5-week celebration begins with: Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes and the crowning of the King and Queen of the Festival whom are voted the most productive male and female cane cutters of the season. Bridgetown Market- the biggest street fair of the festival is made up of several stalls that sell local food and beverages as well as local arts and crafts.

Calypso music can be heard from the many loud speakers lined off on the Spring Garden Highway whilst everyone is able to enjoy the spread of the island’s culture in a variety of different ways. Calypsonians compete for several prizes and titles, including the Party Monarch, the Road March Monarch and the Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch. The Party Monarch competition is held down on East Coast Road, on the East Coast of the island where breathtaking views of the Atlantic sea can be seen. Here, the calypsonians perform on a stage with the Atlantic surf as the backdrop while the spectators watch from below in the hillsides with their picnic baskets, making the day seem as relaxing as possible.
The finals of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition is held at the National Stadium, and this is followed by the Fore-Day Morning Jump-Up. Cohobblopot is one of the highly anticipated events nearing the end of the summer festival where the Kings and Queens of the costumed bands parade before a panel of judges. Cohobblopot also includes several performances by some of the most popular musical bands and calypsonians of that year with lively crowds, eager to show their support for their favourite artists.

Grand Kadooment Day usually takes place on the first Monday in August each year and acts as the culmination of the Crop Over Festival. Grand Kadooment is a spectacular daytime street carnival parading with thousands of Crop over costumed band partakers, partying from the National Stadium where they parade before a panel of judges in very vibrant and elaborate costumes. The long-day jump up finally ends when the revelers reach the Spring Garden Highway, but the party still continues with even more great calypso music, and plenty of food and drinks down at Spring Garden, while some even choose to go for a dip in the nearby sea to cool off after a very long but enthralling day.

The Crop-Over Festival is a truly spectacular array of events- one that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.


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