The Crop Over Festival is made up of a series of fantastic, colourful, fun filled events some of which are outlined below.

The main Crop Over events are:

1. Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes in Barbados
2. Bridgetown Market
3. Literary & Visual Arts Festival
4. Cohobblopot
5. Foreday Morning Jam
6. Calypso Tents & Competitions
7. The Junior Kadooment / Kiddies Kadooment
Grand Kadooment Day




Main Events

Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes in Barbados

cane cuttingThis is the official opening ceremony of Barbados€™ Crop Over season. This ceremony is where the the most productive male and female cane cutters of the season are crowned King and Queen of the Festival. 

A feature of this ceremony is the Decorated Cart Parade. As its name suggests, here you will see decorated donkey carts, in addition to cars, bicycles and trunks. You will also see participants in bright coloured costumes.

Bridgetown Market

bridgetownmarket 0.previewThis is the biggest street fair in the English-speaking Caribbean, usually held on the last weekend of the season. Here you can find vendors selling all kinds of Bajan wares, fashion, food, arts and craft. It is located on the Spring Garden Highway and takes place for three days, starting with the Foreday Morning street parade and ends with the climax of Grand Kadooment.

Originally held at Pelican Village in Harbour Road, it has since outgrown that location, with the current location, Spring Garden, seeing tens of thousands of locals and visitors passing through in the space of three days. In addition to the fantastic Bajan offerings that are available for sale, there are also various forms of entertainment, such as Steel Pan concerts, Tuk Bands, the Barbados Landship, stilt walking, dance groups, and of course the music of the season - calypso and soca.

Admission is free.


Main Events

Literary & Visual Arts Festival

The Crop Over "Visual Arts Festival" & its exhibitions showcase the skills of talented Bajans of all ages, both amateurs and professionals. The annual "Read In" features local and international artistes and takes on a multi-media format where artistes use music, dance and visual aids to complement their spoken word performances. 


COHOBLOPOT crowdsHeld on the last weekend of the crop over season, the Sunday night before Grand Kadooment, this event is the stage for the Kings and Queens of masquerade bands to display their splendid, colourful costumes on stage before a panel of judges. Patrons are also entertained by popular Barbadian and Caribbean calypsonians and performers, making this event truly a festival within itself.

The word €˜Cohobblopot€™ is a word coined by slaves on Caribbean plantations to describe a spicy array of meat, pepper and spices. This dish is also locally known as Pepperpot€™.

Foreday Morning Jam

Foreday Jam 2This is a street party that takes place in the wee hours of the Saturday morning after the Pic-O-De Crop Calypso competition Finals. It has certainly grown throughout the years, featuring more masquerade bands and thousands of revelers. There is also plenty mud and paint to go around here as revelers get as mucky, sticky and as colourful as possible as they dance behind music vans from Bridgetown to Spring Garden. Many locals and visitors line the streets and watch this lively parade. Foreday Morning bands usually offer packages for a fee, which can include drinks & entertainment, mud & paint, plus more extras depending on the band of choice.

It is an offence subject to punishment in a Court of Law, for persons not registered in a Costume Band to intrude into registered revelers of Costume Bands.


Main Events

Calypso Tents & Competitions

pic o de cropCalypso Tents have certainly evolved from what they first used to be. These tents were originally made with poles and covered with any available waterproof material, oftentimes palm trees and branches. Here patrons were seated and were entertained by calypsonians performing unedited calypsos, artistically penned with lots of innuendos and double entendres.

Today, the appearance of the tents might ha€™ve undergone drastic changes, but its modus operandi remains the same - to showcase upcoming Barbadian calypsonian talent. Venues include Secondary Schools throughout Barbados and the Wildey Gymnasium, among others, and the shows have even been expanded to showcase young upcoming calypsonians with the introduction of the Barbados Junior Calypso Tents.

pic o de crop2

Some of the popular calypso competitions are:

Pic-O-De Crop Calypso Competition - Entrants to this competition must be 18 years or older and are judged on social commentary. Eighteen calypsonians are chosen from the nine tents (usually) to compete at the Pic-o-de-crop Semi-finals, where seven then advance to the Finals to compete against the reigning Calypso Monarch. Each participant sings two songs before a panel of judges where points are awarded based on lyrics, content, performance, melody and diction.

Party Monarch Competition -
 Here 19 calypso artists compete for the Party Monarch title.

Road March / Tune-of-the-Crop - Judged on Grand Kadooment Day based in the popularity and response from the revelers.

Junior Calypso Monarch - Entrants to this competition must be 18 years or younger and are judged in two age categories: (8 &€“ 12) & (13 &€“ 18). Here you can see upcoming, young talents showcasing their skills in the art of calypso. Eight singers from each category are chosen to compete in the finals to see who will become the Junior Calypso Monarch.

The Junior Kadooment / Kiddies Kadooment

kiddies kadoomentThe little ones are not to be left out of the Crop Over season. Kiddies Kadooment gives young revelers their chance to parade before judges in spectacular, age-appropriate costumes. Judging traditionally takes place at the National Stadium, and these children boldly represent their various bands in costume and dance. This is an event for the entire family.

Grand Kadooment Day

This day is truly the ultimate climax of the Crop Over Festival, and is a day filled with merriment, colourful costumes, sweet soca and large crowds. It is the official finale of Cropkadooment Over and traditionally takes place on the first Monday of August. Kadooment certainly is a grand, colourful spectacle, as many Barbadian costume designers are showcased in the numerous bands as they vie for the coveted Designer of the Year prize. Some of these costumes can be extremely provocative and racy, so consider yourselves warned!

This adult street parade takes place early Monday morning, and the procession of revelers all jump to the Spring Garden Highway, where most of the Crop Over action seems to culminate. Here, the feathered and bejeweled costumed band jumpers follow behind music trucks, drinks in hand, gyrating and dancing for the entire journey. 

Once the bands reach Spring Garden, many high-energy revelers continue to enjoy the festivities, as the Bridgetown Market is located right on this highway stretch. Here the dancing continues, this time accompanied by eating and drinking, as locals and tourists all enjoy this free-spirited day. Others choose to cool off from the exhausting jump in the nearby Brandon€™s Beach.

The history of masquerading has its roots in African tradition, as persons paraded in masks and costumes through the villages to bring good luck and to remove evil spirits. Costumes were made from natural materials such as; grass, beads, bones, etc, and head-pieces were traditionally made of feathers to symbolise that people can spiritually rise above anything.

These are just some of the main highlights of the Crop Over Festival, but this season is rife with events and activities. If you are visiting Barbados during this time, be sure to take part in some of these cultural activities. Not only can they be tons of fun, but they are also great ways to experience the heritage of the island and its people. 

It is an offence subject to punishment in a Court of Law, for persons not registered in a Costume Band to intrude into registered revelers of Costume Bands.


Article © Caribbean Dreams Magazine
Photos compliments Caribbean Dreams Magazine and