he Crop Over Festival in Barbados which ends with the spectacular Barbados Kadooment, is the season used to celebrate the ending of the local Sugar Cane harvest, and is distinctly unique from the Carnival festivities in other Caribbean countries. Many "old time" elements like the local cultural characters mix with modern additions to give this festival a character unlike any other in the Caribbean. Celebrations are not only vibrantly colourful and full of music, but also reveals all aspects of Barbadian culture, a mixture of African survival heritage and Western modern culture through exhibitions of art, craft, music, and dance.
Crop Over in Barbados spreads over a period of approximately 12 weeks from the month of May through to August. Although not the official start of the festival, the popular Community Cavalcades (locally called Crop over Calvacades), a cultural talent showcase, were designed to create hype for the festival in each of the parishes of Barbados.
Kadooment Band Fetes, Crop Over Fetes and After-work Limes during the Crop Over season, also play a significant role in creating hype for Kadooment in Barbados. These parties are many and are very popular with a variety of themes, sometimes lasting from dust 'til dawn.
The Crop Over Opening Gala which is usually in July is the official start of the Barbados Crop Over Festival Season and the end of the Sugar Cane Crop harvesting Season. The main feature of this cultural event is the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, and is used to crown the King and Queen of the Sugar Cane Crop Industry. It is also known for the Decorated Cart Parade which is a parade of colourfully costumed persons, and decorated vehicles such as donkey carts, cars, trucks and bicycles. This event also pays tribute to the many ethnic groupings existing in Barbados and the unique features of Barbadian culture, through food, music and art & craft.
Calypso music and calypso competitions are a huge part of the Crop Over Festival. Calypsonians, comedians and local entertainment can be seen in action in a variety of adult and junior Calypso Tents scattered all over the island. The airwaves are filled with lots of quality calypso music from artists in every part of Barbados. Every performer is judged on their social commentary or party songs for the Pic-O-De-Crop and Party Monarch competitions in Barbados.
The first competition which features social commentary is the Pic-O-De-Crop Semi-Finals. The finalists will then meet on the last Friday night before the end of the festival at the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals where the Calypso Monarch is crowned.
Children also play a part in the Crop over celebrations in Barbados. The Junior Kadooment sees the young revellers on the streets parading in costume to the Kensington Oval as well as the Junior Calypso Monarch, a competition celebrating the young talent our island has to offer and the voices of tomorrow's calypsonians.
One of the most popular events of the season is the Party Monarch Finals and is not to be missed on the beautiful East Coast of Barbados. The most popular party songs from the tents and airwaves are judged in competition for the title of Party Monarch.
The last lap weekend is the climax of the festival and every minute is accounted for. Friday night sees the start of the finals of the Pic-O-De-Crop Competition; here you will hear mainly social commentary. Eight finalists compete at a tension filled National Stadium for the title of Calypso Monarch.
The Foreday Morning Jump Up in the early hours of Saturday morning is a much cooler option to the heat of Kadooment Day. Mud & paint covered revellers party through the streets from Bridgetown to Spring Garden Highway.
If you still have energy left after that, you may want to stay on for Bridgetown Market, the biggest street fair of the festival featuring local food, entertainment and art and craft as well as lots of drinks. This is an entire weekend of fun & frolic, which promises a slice of Barbados you won't want to miss. It is a wonderful opportunity to pick up unique, handmade souvenirs, and art work and sample local delicacies.
Sunday night is the Barbados Cohobblopot, (a potpourri of cultural talent) a spectacular event of the Kings and Queens of the costumed bands, who parade before a panel of judges. This event is one of the biggest and most exciting of the season including performances by some of the hottest musical bands and calypsonians. (The word "Cohobblopot" was used by slaves on plantations to describe a stew with a variety of ingredients)
Monday is the Barbados Grand Kadooment Day, the culmination of the Crop Over Festival. Grand Kadooment is a spectacular daytime street carnival with a procession of thousands of Crop over costumed band revellers, partying from the National Stadium where they parade before a panel of judges. In Barbados Kadooment Bands or costume bands as they are called by locals, comprise of groups of masqueraders, in distinctive and elaborate costumes. They then take to the streets where it becomes a huge all day street party / jump up to the Spring Garden Highway usually ending with a breathtaking fireworks display. This is also where the Tune-Of-The-Crop or Road March Song is judged.
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF)
Address: West Terrace, St. James.
Tel: (246) 424-0909
For more Information on Carnival Bands & Mas Camps in Barbados visit our Mas Bands page!
If you are taking a Holiday or Vacationing in Barbados during the Crop Over Festival we have all the services and information you need to make your visit unforgettable: