Ahhh summertime in Barbados yet again! No better time to experience our rich culture in its full glory! Crop Over, Barbados’ largest and most anticipated festival has been traced as far back as 1688. Originally this celebration signaled the end of the annual sugar cane harvest, but over the years it has evolved into a colourful explosion of culture, music and dance.
The Crop Over festival runs from the beginning of June through to the first Monday in August with ‘The Grand Kadooment’ finale. Life turns into one big party during the couple of months leading up to Kadooment. From the Craft Markets and Friday night ‘Pork Limes’ to the Calypso Tents and Paint Parties, it’s non-stop action-packed fun!
Here is the 2015 event line up!
Pan Pun De Sand: (July 12th @ 4pm) Steel pan is an indigenous regional musical art form created that is beyond compare; enjoy the local talent in the steel pan concert on the beach, admission is free and you are guaranteed to want to dance the evening away to the sweet sound of pan.
Soca on De Hill: (July 19th @ 12pm) Every year local and regional Soca Artists release new rhythms and songs exclusively for the Crop Over Season. This event held at the Farley Hill National Park showcases the top tunes performed live. It’s an atmosphere inundated with the festive rhythm of soca, it is truly amazing!
Soca Royale – Party Monarch & Sweet Soca Competitions: (July 26th @ 2pm) Not to be missed! This competition between the soca artistes to win the title of Party Monarch and Sweet Soca Monarch can get heated.
Foreday Morning: (July 30th @ 11.30pm) Paint, powder, mud! Starting in Bridgetown and ending on the Spring Garden Highway, this street party literally doesn’t stop till the sun comes up! Once the soca rhythm enters your veins your body will automatically take over in dance. Add to that, gallons of paint, puffs of coloured powder and splashes of mud covering your body from head to toe. Foreday Morning promises to be the best night of your life!
Bridgetown Market: (July 31st @ 6pm) Local drinks, food, crafts and entertainment. If you want to experience true Bajan culture, head down to the Spring Garden Highway for this free event. You have to taste the fish cakes and look out for the tuk band with its entourage of legendary cultural characters like Mother Sally, the stilt men, and the Shaggy bear. This event is open all weekend!
Grand Kadooment: (August 3rd @ 9am) The big finale! Colours, beads, feathers, drinks and dancing. Similar to Brazil’s Carnival, everything about Kadooment is absolutely breathtaking. The parade of ‘bands’ begins at the National Stadium where the stunning costumes are judged before they go out on the streets to ‘get on bad.’ By the time the revellers or ‘jumpers’ reach the Spring Garden Highway…well let’s just say the before and after pictures of the costumes act as good evidence of what happens on the road.
These are only a few of the main events that happen annually over the Crop Over Festival in Barbados. There are about a hundred others including soca performances, beach parties, pork limes, paint parties, and the most amazing and creative all-inclusive parties and events. Experience the summer of a lifetime that will leave you counting the days until next year. Experience Barbados!
Disclaimer: Once you enjoy kadooment every other party, anywhere in the world, will pale in comparison. It’s almost guaranteed you will be back!