Main Crop Over Events

The Crop Over Fes­ti­val is made up of a series of fan­tas­tic, colour­ful, fun filled events some of which are out­lined below.

The main Crop Over events are:

1. Cer­e­mo­nial Deliv­ery of the Last Canes in Bar­ba­dos
2. Bridgetown Mar­ket
3. Lit­er­ary & Visual Arts Fes­ti­val
4. Cohob­blopot
5. Fore­day Morn­ing Jam
6. Calypso Tents & Com­pe­ti­tions
7. The Junior Kadoo­ment /​Kid­dies Kadoo­ment
Grand Kadoo­ment Day

Cer­e­mo­nial Deliv­ery of the Last Canes in Barbados

cane cuttingThis is the offi­cial open­ing cer­e­mony of Bar­ba­dos€™ Crop Over sea­son. This cer­e­mony is where the the most pro­duc­tive male and female cane cut­ters of the sea­son are crowned King and Queen of the Festival.

A fea­ture of this cer­e­mony is the Dec­o­rated Cart Parade. As its name sug­gests, here you will see dec­o­rated don­key carts, in addi­tion to cars, bicy­cles and trunks. You will also see par­tic­i­pants in brightly coloured costumes.

Bridgetown Mar­ket

bridgetownmarket 0.previewThis is the biggest street fair in the English-​speaking Caribbean, usu­ally held on the last week­end of the sea­son. Here you can find ven­dors sell­ing all kinds of Bajan wares, fash­ion, food, arts and craft. It is located on the Spring Gar­den High­way and takes place for three days, start­ing with the Fore­day Morn­ing street parade and ends with the cli­max of Grand Kadoo­ment.

Orig­i­nally held at Pel­i­can Vil­lage in Har­bour Road, it has since out­grown that loca­tion, with the cur­rent loca­tion, Spring Gar­den, see­ing tens of thou­sands of locals and vis­i­tors pass­ing through in the space of three days. In addi­tion to the fan­tas­tic Bajan offer­ings that are avail­able for sale, there is also var­i­ous forms of enter­tain­ment, such as Steel Pan con­certs, Tuk Bands, the Bar­ba­dos Land­ship, stilt walk­ing, dance groups, and of course the music of the sea­son– calypso and soca.

Admis­sion is free.

Lit­er­ary & Visual Arts Festival

The Crop Over “Visual Arts Fes­ti­val& its exhi­bi­tions show­case the skills of tal­ented Bajans of all ages, both ama­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als. The annual “Read In” fea­tures local and inter­na­tional artistes and takes on a multi-​media for­mat where artistes use music, dance and visual aids to com­ple­ment their spo­ken word performances.


COHOBLOPOT crowdsHeld on the last week­end of the crop over sea­son, the Sun­day night before Grand Kadoo­ment, this event is the stage for the Kings and Queens of mas­quer­ade bands to dis­play their splen­did colour­ful cos­tumes on stage before a panel of judges. Patrons are also enter­tained by pop­u­lar Bar­ba­dian and Caribbean calyp­so­ni­ans and per­form­ers, mak­ing this event truly a fes­ti­val within itself.

The word €˜Cohob­blopot€™ is a word coined by slaves on Caribbean plan­ta­tions to describe a spicy array of meat, pep­per and spices. This dish is also locally known as Pepperpot€™.

Fore­day Morn­ing Jam

Foreday Jam 2This is a street party that takes place in the wee hours of the Sat­ur­day morn­ing after the Pic-​O-​De Crop Calypso com­pe­ti­tion Finals. It has cer­tainly grown through­out the years, fea­tur­ing more mas­quer­ade bands and thou­sands of rev­el­ers. There is also plenty mud and paint to go around here as rev­el­ers get as mucky, sticky and as colour­ful as pos­si­ble as they dance behind music vans from Bridgetown to Spring Gar­den. Many locals and vis­i­tors line the streets and watch this lively parade. Fore­day Morn­ing bands usu­ally offer pack­ages for a fee, which can include drinks & enter­tain­ment, mud & paint, plus more extras depend­ing on the band of choice.

It is an offence sub­ject to pun­ish­ment in a Court of Law, for Per­sons not Reg­is­tered in a Cos­tume Band to intrude into reg­is­tered Rev­el­ers of Cos­tume Bands.

Calypso Tents & Competitions

pic o de cropCalypso Tents have cer­tainly evolved from what they first used to be. These tents were orig­i­nally made with poles and cov­ered with any avail­able water­proof mate­r­ial, often­times palm trees and branches. Here patrons were seated and were enter­tained by calyp­so­ni­ans per­form­ing unedited calyp­sos, artis­ti­cally penned with lots of innu­en­dos and dou­ble entendres.

Today, the appear­ance of the tents might ha€™ve under­gone dras­tic changes, but its modus operandi remains the same– to show­case upcom­ing Bar­ba­dian calyp­son­ian tal­ent. Venues include Sec­ondary Schools through­out Bar­ba­dos and the Wildey Gym­na­sium, among oth­ers, and the shows have even been expanded to show­case young upcom­ing calyp­so­ni­ans with the intro­duc­tion of the Bar­ba­dos Junior Calypso Tents.

pic o de crop2

Pic-​O-​De Crop Calypso Com­pe­ti­tion–
Entrants to this com­pe­ti­tion must be 18 years or older and are judged on social com­men­tary. Eigh­teen calyp­so­ni­ans are cho­sen from the nine tents (usu­ally) to com­pete at the Pic-​o-​de-​crop Semi-​finals, where seven then advance to the Finals to com­pete against the reign­ing Calypso Monarch. Each par­tic­i­pant sings two songs before a panel of judges where points are based on lyrics, con­tent, per­for­mance, melody and diction.

Party Monarch Competition–Here 19 calypso artists com­pete for the Party Monarch title.

Road March /​Tune-​of-​the-​Crop- Judged on Grand Kadoo­ment Day based in the pop­u­lar­ity and response from the revelers.

Junior Calypso Monarch- Entrants to this com­pe­ti­tion must be 18 years or older and are judged in two age cat­e­gories: (8 &€“ 12) & (13 &€“ 18). Here you can see upcom­ing, young tal­ents show­cas­ing their skills in the art of calypso. Eight singers from each cat­e­gory are cho­sen to com­pete in the finals to see who will be the years Junior Calypso Monarch.

The Junior Kadoo­ment /​Kid­dies Kadooment

kiddies kadoomentThe lit­tle ones are not to be left out of the Crop Over sea­son. Kid­dies Kadoo­ment gives young rev­el­ers their chance to parade before judges in spec­tac­u­lar, age-​appropriate cos­tumes. Judg­ing tra­di­tion­ally takes place at the National Sta­dium, and these chil­dren boldly rep­re­sent their var­i­ous bands in cos­tume and dance. This is an event for the entire family.

These are just some of the main high­lights of the Crop Over Fes­ti­val, but this sea­son is rife with events and activ­i­ties. If you are vis­it­ing Bar­ba­dos dur­ing this time, be sure to take part in some of these cul­tural activ­i­ties. Not only can they be tons of fun, but they are also great ways to expe­ri­ence the her­itage of the island and its people.

Grand Kadoo­ment Day

kadoomentThis day is truly the ulti­mate cli­max of the Crop Over Fes­ti­val, and is a day filled with mer­ri­ment, colour­ful cos­tumes, sweet soca and large crowds. It is the offi­cial finale of Crop Over and tra­di­tion­ally takes place on the first Mon­day of August. Kadoo­ment cer­tainly is a grand, colour­ful spec­ta­cle, as many Bar­ba­dian cos­tume design­ers are show­cased in the numer­ous bands as they vie for the cov­eted Designer of the Year prize. Some of these cos­tumes can be extremely provoca­tive and racy, so con­sider your­selves warned!

This adult street parade takes place early Mon­day morn­ing, and the pro­ces­sion of rev­el­ers all jump to the Spring Gar­den High­way– where most of the Crop Over action seems to cul­mi­nate. Here, the feath­ered and bejew­eled cos­tumed band jumpers fol­low behind music trucks, drinks in hand, gyrat­ing and danc­ing for the entire journey.

Once the bands reach Spring Gar­den, many high-​energy rev­el­ers con­tinue to enjoy the fes­tiv­i­ties, as the Bridgetown Mar­ket is located right on this high­way stretch. Here the danc­ing con­tin­ues, along with food and drinks, as locals and tourists all enjoy this free-​spirited day. Oth­ers choose to cool off from the exhaust­ing jump in the nearby Brandon€™s Beach.

The his­tory of mas­querad­ing has its roots in African tra­di­tion, as per­sons paraded in masks and cos­tumes through the vil­lages to bring good luck and to remove evil spir­its. Cos­tumes were made from nat­ural mate­ri­als such as; grass, beads, bones, etc, and head-​pieces were tra­di­tion­ally made of feath­ers to sym­bol­ise that peo­ple can spir­i­tu­ally rise above anything.

It is an offence sub­ject to pun­ish­ment in a Court of Law, for Per­sons not Reg­is­tered in a Cos­tume Band to intrude into reg­is­tered Rev­el­ers of Cos­tume Bands.


Fes­ti­vals & Events
Crop Over Fes­ti­val
Ali­son Hinds — Undis­puted Queen Of Soca
Ander­son ‘Blood’ Arm­strong
About Bar­ba­dos
Cur­rent Edi­tion of Caribbean Dreams Magazine

Arti­cle © Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
Pho­tos 1, 5, 6 & 8 © Caribbean Dreams Mag­a­zine
Pho­tos 2, 3, 4 & 7 orig­i­nally from nation​crop​over​.com

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