Photo Credit: TN
Here’s Your Guide To Barbados’ Iconic Crop Over Festival
At this point, Caribbean Carnivals are pivotal occasions within the diaspora. From New York City to the Caribbean to even Germany, Caribbean culture runs through peoples’ souls and runs di road.
One of the most popular iterations of Carnival is Barbados’ Crop Over Festival, which was notorious on its own but rose to prominence with the help of everybody’s favorite bad gal, Rihanna. The new mom, whose attendance always results in beautiful photos that land everywhere from body goals vision boards to new phone wallpaper, has brought much attention to the celebration.
After taking a necessary hiatus due to COVID in both 2020 and 2021, Crop Over is back! It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience and one that everyone should have at least once in their life.
But what is Crop Over exactly?
Crop Over shares many similarities to Caribana and Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, but the celebration is so much more than the road march it’s mainly known for.
Dating back to the 17th century, Barbados has been known for its sugar production, but the country comes alive at the end of the harvest season. Unlike other Carnival celebrations, Crop Over is commemorated over eight weeks from June to August, featuring various events ranging from visual arts and craft exhibitions, calypso tents and competitions, and countless fetes.
The festival culminates in the colorful Kadooment Day parade where locals and visitors take to di road to play mas in beautifully ornate costumes, large feathers & all the rum and soca you could ask for!
While participating in all the festivities sounds like a fantastic time, we know why you’re here; you want a breakdown of parties and events leading up to Kadooment Day. We’ve got you covered! Here’s a guide to the Crop Over festivities you NEED to attend to live your best life as a Kadooment-Bae:
Spin Pooch with Spinny and Friends
This event promises to make you sweat as you spend time with Spinny, the island’s premiere Wukup Artist, Entertainer, and Fitness Guru. Make sure you come in your workout clothes, drink LOTS of water, and be ready to get on bad as you follow Spinny’s dance moves of cultural cardio.
Lifted is a fete to set the tone for the rest of your weekend. The party was on a beach this year, and we’re hoping they keep it that way for years to come!
Mimosa Premium Breakfast Party
This ultra-premium, all-inclusive Breakfast party starts around 7 AM, so be sure to rest up or keep it going. Mimosa, like most of the events on this list, is all-inclusive. There is an area to eat and numerous bars dedicated to your spirit of choice, but at Mimosa, champagne reigns supreme.
Native Foreday Morning Fete
I’ve been to J’ouvert in Brooklyn numerous times when I was younger, but this Foreday Experience is an entirely different ballgame. Like other J’ouverts, Native roughly starts past midnight. But here’s the kicker, it takes place in a park, so it’s way more controlled, and… oh yeah, it’s also all-inclusive. As you march, sing, pelt waist, and throw paint (supplied inside the park), there are bar trucks that are never too far away for you to refill your bottle (provided in a goodie bag before the event). My whole life changed.
Bliss All-Inclusive Party
Bliss is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Okay, yes, like the other parties, it’s nonstop good vibes and has all-inclusive food and drinks, but what sets Bliss apart from the others are the activations within the party. The event hosts separate booths that offer male grooming, female grooming, a glitter bar, and a makeup station. Yes. You can get your hair and makeup done while at the party and finish off by having some gems added to finish the look.
Lost in Paradise
End your Crop Over Sunday at Lost in Paradise, the brainchild of Rihanna’s brother Rorrey Fenty and Jus Jay King. All events are beautifully branded but Lost In Paradise is an experience of its own. You’ll feel like you’ve been teleported to a mystical forest.
Grand Kadooment Day
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! You might have to get up at the crack of dawn to get to your makeup appointment, but it’ll totally be worth it. This is the road march!
There are numerous bands you can choose from, but I recommend Aura, another creation by way of Rorrey Fenty. The hospitality and beautiful costumes are honestly enough to leave home for.
Like Barbados’ native superstar Lil Rick says, “Crop Over is a blessing, not a curse! It’s di best ting in di world!” Visit Barbados soon or start planning for Crop Over 2023 to see for yourself!