8-20-2013 10-04-07 AM

Even as a half Bajan, I had no idea how crazy Crop Over in Barbados would be. I’ve visited Barbados several times before, but only for family trips. I’ve always had a goal to go for Crop Over with friends and actually experience more of the party/cultural scene, and finally did it this year. It was an AMAZING experience, and probably one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. For those unfamiliar with Crop Over, here is a quick snippet of the history:

Crop Over is a five-week long summer festival and it’s our most popular and colorful festival. It’s origins can be traced back to the 1780s, a time when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest; hence the festival name – Crop Over. (source: uptownmagazine.com)

The festival has evolved into an event that includes all-inclusive parties and costumes which attract people from all over – although I would say a majority of visitors seemed to be from the UK, which wasn’t too surprising as Barbados is a former British colony.

For anyone interested in attending, here are a 4 tips to get you started:

Plan EARLY: The main parade (Kadooment Day) is the first Monday in August, and there are parties every day leading up to the main event. I recommend going within the last few days of July in order to enjoy the parties and then leaving no earlier than 2-3 days after Kadooment so there’s enough time to relax before leaving the island. I found that flights were reasonable in February, but skyrocketed shortly after, so it’s best to book everything by February/March.

Go with fun people: Crop Over is no joke. There are parties day and night (in the countryside, on the beach, on boats) – and all of them are good and worth going to. Most of the heavily promoted parties are all-inclusive which include food + drinks, and are about $100 USD. So make sure that you go with people that are down for fun so you can enjoy it all. I had no problem with that thanks to my amazing group of friends – C1, C2, C3 ;-).

Learn to LOVE soca: This isn’t a problem for me. I am reggae/soca obsessed. But not everyone is…and that is basically what you’ll  be hearing at every party. Not only that, but there are Crop Over songs each year that come out and are played consistently. Before you go to Barbados find the carnival mix online and get used to it. You will be hearing it everywhere! Here’s a good mix: http://djprivateryan.libsyn.com/private-ryan-presents-the-cropover-sampler-2013

Dress for comfort: You are going to be dancing – a lot! Wear comfy shoes and clothes that you can dance in. I regretted the one day I wore wedges. Remember that you are on an island and everything is more laid back.

8-10-2013 12-44-44 PM

 

3 Thoughts on “Barbados Crop Over 2K13

  1. Stephany on September 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm said:

    This sounds amazing! I say pics of Rihanna during crop over and she looked like she was having the time of her life!

    maybe one year…

  2. Priscilla on September 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm said:

    “Go with Fun people” sounds a lot like…’Don’t bring sand to the beach’… I agree with Stephany sounds like an amazing experience… and because of your blog post Crop Over is now way more to me than Rihanna’s scantily clad images on Instagram. Traveltoria gives Crop Over way more substance! Thanks for the awesome post. maybe one day for me too…

  3. What an amazing adventure! Beyond the fabulous party scene and island festivities, it is really inspiring to read about exploration of heritage and traditions and getting a glimpse into the history behind all the costumes, cocktails and island beats  Being something of a “Girl Without A Country” I often find myself searching for ways to “reconnect” with my Indonesian roots. Because of this post, I am googling local festivals as we speak!

    I have a sneaky feeling that when I eventually do get to experience a big Indo festival, it will likely be less of a festive island party and more “spiritual island Zen”… but hope to experience it nonetheless.

    P.S. Looking forward to the day when I will get to read a Bali post on TravelToria!

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