Monday 20 May, 2019

Carnival in Barbados: When, where and what

Carnival in Barbados is called Crop Over, a name that dates back centuries to when the fete marked the end of the sugar cane harvest. It’s the nation’s biggest festival and has grown into a dynamic, pulsating celebration of food, music, costumes and shows.

Build-up starts around 12 weeks out, with band and costume launches as well as mini Carnivals. The official Crop Over season lasts about six weeks and includes folk concerts, an arts and crafts market, and tons of soca and calypso. It culminates in two highlights – a large J’ouvert street party starting late on the last Friday and ending on Saturday, followed by the Grand Kadooment Carnival Street Parade on the first Monday in August.

Kadooment, by the way, means big to-do or big party, and it certainly delivers on its promise as costumed revelers make their way to the Spring Garden Highway for food, music and fireworks with the beach as backdrop. Visitors can either join a band or experience the energy and excitement watching the eye-catching masqueraders pass by.

This year the official season runs from June 23 to August 6, with J’ouvert from late on August 3 and the parade on August 6. Most of the events take place on the south coast or in and around the capital, Bridgetown.

Barbados Crop Over: Key information

When: June 23 to August 6

When’s the Road March: August 6

Where do I register and buy tickets: You can find the events calendar here and more information here.

Is there a phone number: Yes, it’s (246) 424-0909, at the National Cultural Foundation. You can also follow Barbados Crop Over on Facebook.

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