Crop Over, a five-week summer festival, is Barbados’ most popular and colorful festival. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780’s, a time when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar.
At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest – the Crop Over celebration.
As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940’s the festival was terminated completely.
However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to make the extravaganza that exists today an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe.
Calypso music and calypso competitions are a huge part of the Crop Over Festival. 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.
Among the most popular events of the season is the Soca Royale, which is not to be missed. This is where the most popular party songs from the tents and airwaves are judged in competition for the title of Party Monarch and Sweet Soca Monarch.
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 National Stadium 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.
Friday Night, after the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals, there is the Foreday Morning Jump Up held in the early hours of Saturday morning, which is a much cooler option to the heat of Kadooment Day. After the Foreday Morning Jam you can hit the beach and create your own sunrise beach party.
Saturday, if you still have energy left, you may want to stay on for Bridgetown Market, a (3) Day event and the biggest cultural street fair in the Caribbean.
Sunday night is the Crop Over Cohobblopot in Barbados, one of the biggest and most exciting events of the season.
Monday is Grand Kadooment Day/Carnival in Barbados, the culmination of the Crop Over Festival. This is a spectacular daytime street carnival & parade, and where the Tune-Of-The-Crop or Road March Song is judged.