Crop Over Festival

History & events schedule of Barbados'
annual summer carnival

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Barbados Crop Over Festival

The annual Barbados Crop Over Festival is from early July until early August. The festival highlight, the famous Grand Kadooment Parade, begins on the final day at 9 a.m.

The festival's roots date back to the 1780s when Barbados was the world's largest sugar producer and a big celebration was always held after the harvest, or when the Crop Over.   

Today, the party lasts for almost 5 weeks, with most events taking place in Bridgetown.

It opens with a presentation of the last sugar canes to the King and Queen, the best male and female cane cutters.

Other festival highlights include:

Bridgetown Market where several stalls sell local food and drinks or local arts and crafts. Calypso and live tuk bands perform.

Cohobblopot where members of the Kadooment bands display their elaborate costumes.

Kiddies Kadooment, a children's costume parade and competition.

Folk concerts and art and photographic exhibitions

Calypso competitions, with calypsonians organized into "tents" sponsored by local businesses. They compete for such titles as Party Monarch, the Road March Monarch and the Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch.

The semi-finals of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition are held at East Coast Road on the island's Atlantic coast side. The competitive music have the ocean as their stage backdrop. Spectators attending the performances bring their own picnic baskets and dine while watching from the surroudning hillside.

The carnival parade, known as the Grand Kadooment, is Crop Over's most colorful highlight as people accompanied by loud calypso music, both live and recorded. Participants march from the National Stadium to Spring Garden where the party continues with more calypso and plenty of food.

Because the parade starts early in the morning, conditions are ideal for shooting plenty of photos. Paraders usually are more than happy to pose.

Food booths line the parade route so there's always something to drink or eat readily available.

See the full schedule of Crop Over activities from July through the Grand Kadooment Parade in early August. More detailed information on the event's main site.

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