Crop Over-Barbados Carnival
Crop Over is a five-week summer festival in Barbados, commencing in July, where the
end of the local sugar cane crop harvest is celebrated. As the last cart carrying cane was
taken into the mill a slave would beat a gong to announce the start of the Crop Over which was
followed by dancing, loud singing and feasting. The festival originated in the 1780's, a time when
the Plantation System was ruled and Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar.
The festival was abandoned in the 1940’s due to the steep decline
of the Barbadian sugar industry, global economic troubles and the world war but was revived in 1974
and the traditional aspects of the festival have been fused with modern parties, music, costume
designs etc. Here are some of the events of the five weeks of celebration that every fun lover
should experience at least once in their lifetime:
The celebrations begin with the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes and the
crowning of the king and queen of the crop. This is the ceremony where the harvest is officially
pronounced closed and the king and queen are crowned. The King and Queen are the most productive
male and female cane cutters of the season.
Also on the schedule the Cart Parade. This is a procession of decorated
donkey carts, vehicles of all types and persons dressed in colourful costumes.
Bridgetown Market is held on a Saturday and Sunday and consists of
several stalls which sell local food and beverages, local arts and crafts and also highlights local
talent. You can enjoy the music and the live bands as you enjoy the exhibition by the locals.
Calypso Tent Shows are non-stop throughout the period of the Crop
Over period. Being one of the main features of the festival the Calypso attracts a large
audience. Calypsonians are group into tents; some of the more popular bands include House of Soca,
Pioneers, Bacchanal Time, Conquerers, Untouchables and Stray Cats .There are several titiles up for
grabs including Party Monarch, the Road March Monarch and the Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch and a host of
Fetes occur on a daily basis and can run all night until daylight
in some cases. You are certain to find a fete in St. Lawrence Gap any night of the week or at
hotspots all over the island.
Cohobblopot is a huge carnival-like show where members the kings
and queens of the year's costume bands have the opportunity to show off their stunning and
elaborate costumes. Most of the popular calypsonians and bands also perform for the packed
There is also a Kiddies Kadooment where children participate by
donning beautiful costumes and creating their own bands with friends to parade before the judges of
The Grand Kadooment is the grande finale of the weeks of
festivities and is a spectacular parade featuring large bands with its members dressed in their
themed inspired costumes. There are many costumed bands to choose from for both locals and
foreigners and even a competition for the costume of the year. The revelers start from the National
Stadium and head to Spring Garden all the while being accompanied by the pulsating rythym of
calypso music beaming from the massive speakers of the huge trucks. After reaching Spring Garden,
the party madness continues with more fantastic music and tons of food and beverages. This is truly
a fitting way to end such a massive festival.