BRIDGETOWN -- Barbados is celebrating the annual Crop Over Festival
with parades, parties, craft markets, food festivals and concerts
that give visitors a chance to celebrate the island's culture.
Many of the most festive events are held during the last week of
July, leading up to the festival's grand finale Aug. 2. Crop Over
is a time for Barbados to commemorate some of its most important
historical milestones, according to the Barbados Tourism
Dating to the 18th century, Crop Over marked the final reaping
of the season's sugar cane harvest and is one of the oldest
festivals in the Caribbean. After completing the harvest, Barbadian
slaves celebrated by dancing, feasting and parading mule-drawn
carts across the sugar plantations.
In the 1940s, when the Barbadian sugar industry declined, the
festival ceased. The tradition was revived in 1974 when Barbados
reintroduced the event to celebrate the rich cultural traditions of
this island nation.
The following is a list of Crop Over activities:At the Fine Craft Exhibition and Festival, crafts are for sale.
It is set for July 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Trafalgar Square.
Bajan artists exhibit their work at Queen's Park Gallery through
Aug. 2.A Fine Art & Photography Exhibition is at the Grande Salle
at the Tom Adams Financial Centre through July 30.Folk and Gospel Music concerts trace the island's cultural and
social development, according to the BTA. Performances are
scheduled for July 27 and 28 at the Sherbourne Conference Centre in
Bridgetown.Two Calypso events are scheduled. The Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso
Competition, an integral part of Crop Over, brings together calypso
hopefuls who will perform their best songs on July 25 on East Coast
Road in St. Andrew. On July 30, at the National Stadium, finalists
will vie for the title of "Calypso Monarch" at the Pic-O-De-Crop
Finals.On July 31, the Bridgetown Market will feature Bajan cuisine,
indigenous arts and crafts, a steel band festival and a Tuk band
competition. Tuk is a form featuring comically dressed minstrels
playing a trio of rhythm instruments. Their repertoire begins with
a slow waltz, shifts into a marching tune influenced by British
military percussion and concludes with a frenzied African beat. The
diversity of the Tuk bands' music demonstrates the combination of
historical influences in Barbados, according to the BTA.The grand finale of the Crop Over Festival is Grand Kadooment
on Aug. 2, a pageant in which locals form groups representing
themes of Barbadian life, dress in colorful masks and costumes and
dance before judges and spectators in the National Stadium in St.
Local children host their own Junior Kadooment July 24 at the
National Stadium, when they present the costumes and masks they
have prepared over the year. Visitors can participate in Kadooment
by joining one of the costume groups. After the parade, the
celebration takes to the streets with dancing to calypso and soca
music and fireworks displays.
Travelers to Barbados for Crop Over can take advantage of the
Barbados Super Saver program, designed to boost sales in the summer
and shoulder season, according to the BTA.
For example, at the Caribbee Beach Hotel and Beach Club, a
five-night package is priced at $625 per person, and includes
roundtrip air, hotel accommodations, airport transfers in Barbados,
hotel taxes and service charges.
The packages include savings on sightseeing tours; admission to
attractions, and car rentals in addition to discounts on roundtrip
air and hotel transfers, free first night of accommodations during
a minimum five-night stay, a full breakfast daily and an authentic
Bajan outdoor dinner on select evenings at Oistin's Fishing
The packages are offered for travel through Dec. 10 with no
Barbados Tourism Authority
Phone: (888) BARBADOS