This summer, Crop Over festivities return to Barbados, back for the first time in two years. The event has roots in the 1600s as a way to celebrate the end of Barbados’ sugar harvest. Today, however, it is a summertime festival full of art and performances careening towards Grand Kadooment, on August 1, acting as one of the most unique Carnival experiences in the Caribbean.
I want to get the message out that Crop Over isn’t just another big flashy Carnival celebration – though it doesn’t skimp on festivities by any means. A series of events throughout the end of the two-month-long celebration continue to make Barbados a stage for local artisans and performers, including:
● Arts and Artisan Pop-Ups at Pelican Village Craft Center (July 23)
● Folk Concert on the Day of National Significance (July 26)
● Foreday Morning Jam (July 30)
● Arts and Artisan Pop-Ups at Golden Square Freedom Park (Aug 6)
Locals and visitors alike are excited to celebrate Barbados and its unique culture this year after a two year hiatus. Crop Over features, among other things, traditional calypso music embraced by local Bajan performers like the iconic Red Plastic Bag. And then there is soca music, enshrined in performances by local Alison Hinds. They join the ranks of other internationally known artists like Andre “DJ Puffy” Parris and, of course, Rihanna, who was born in Barbados.
And while the island nation preserves its local, multicultural traditions, it keeps things modern. The Barbados National Cultural Foundation created a new Crop Over Instagram filter this year for the celebrations. It’s just one of many ways that this small island boasts big pride during the national holiday of Grand Kadooment as it brings Crop Over to an end this August.