Top 5 reasons to experience Barbados Carnival aka Crop Over (part 2)
Hi there! If this is your first time visiting our Carnivalista Lifestyle blog, welcome! It’s your girl, Esha here and let’s get into part 2 of the top 5 reasons you should experience Barbados Carnival aka Crop Over aka “de sweetest summer festival”.
In part 1, I shared reasons #4 and #5 with you. In this blog, I’ll count down reasons #3 all the way to #1!
Reason #3 – the eye candy (yes!)
So…in case you haven’t been following this blog, I mentioned this in my part 1 recap of Ultimate Crop Over 2019. Our costume provider of choice is Aura; more about that in a second. What I want to mention here is Aura’s eye candy masqueraders are always on point! Both male and female bodies are a feast for the senses and the eyes. There were times when my head was on a swivel!
While I cannot confirm personally if there were hook ups made (I’m a faithfully married ‘oman after all), I would not be surprised if there were MANY hook ups made. How does the saying go, “If you want to make a change, put yourself in the space of opportunity?” Check out some of these pics below and see the “opportunities” for yourself!
In addition to the abundant eye candy, I generally found the Bajan people and others attending Barbados Carnival to be A LOT more open and friendly than some of the other Carnivals that I’ve attended (and I’ve been to many of them)! Got it? Okay, on to reason #2.
Reason #2 – The Barbados Carnival Parade experience
Now to the reason I personally live all year for! Putting on my beautiful mas (short for masquerade) costume and dancing in the streets; there truly is nothing like it. For your reference, the Crop Over parade, also known as The Grand Kadooment or Kadooment Day, will be held on Monday August 7 in 2023.
According to Wikipedia, Crop Over (formerly called “Harvest Home”) is a traditional harvest festival which began in Barbados, having had its early beginnings on the sugar cane plantations during slavery. The crop over tradition began in 1687, and featured singing, dancing and accompaniment by bottles filled with water, shak-shak, banjo, triangle, fiddle, guitar, and bones. Originally a celebration signaling the end of the yearly sugar cane harvest, it has since evolved into Barbados’ biggest national festival similar to Carnival in Brazil and Trinidad. Beginning in June, Crop Over runs until the first Monday in August when it culminates in the finale, The Grand Kadooment.
Similar to Trinidad Carnival, Kadooment Day is full of feathers, glitz, beads, glamour and bacchanal galore! There are a few distinct differences though:
- Where Trinidad Carnival mas bands all take different routes throughout the city of Port of Spain, the Grand Kadooment starts at the National Stadium and ends at Spring Garden Highway. Although the Grand Kadooment is definitely shorter than the Trinidad Carnival Parade route, it’s still about 9 km long (almost 6 miles) so it’s definitely a trek. But once you’re dancing, jumping and drinking along the way, you won’t even notice the distance!
- The Grand Kadooment is a 1 day parade unlike Trinidad Carnival which happens for 2 days.
- AND unlike Trinidad Carnival, Aura ends the parade at the beach! WHAT!?! Yep, you can take off your sneakers, boots or whatever your chosen mas footwear is and put your toes in the sand while enjoying some delicious Bajan food. Yum! Sounds good to us!
As I mentioned before, our costume provider of choice is the local mas band, Aura. Yep, it’s the band that RiRi plays mas with. I know you’ve seen the pictures! One of the things that I really enjoyed about Aura this year was they decided to make the parade route a little bit longer. It was definitely a welcome change! Instead of starting at the National Stadium, they started at Warren’s, which gave us another extra mile or so to get warmed up before getting to the judging area. I’ll take more time to party on de road anyday!
I also really love Aura for their mobile bar service where their staff come through the band serving rum punch with ice and water. Plus, they have an option to upgrade to a VIP masquerader, where you get access to an air-conditioned VIP truck, a food truck serving food throughout the day, backpack carrying service and much, much more! You can get Aura’s VIP Upgrade when you travel with Ultimate Crop Over. Simply purchase our Carnival Diva Upgrade to complement your 5-night Premium Experience.
Before I move on, let me take you to the Grand Kadooment for a moment. The sun is shining, you’re in your amazing costume, drink in hand, “wukkin up” Bajan style in the streets, having a great time!
Now that you’re all excited, let’s get into the #1 reason you should experience Barbados Carnival!
Reason #1 – Foreday Morning (aka Foreday Morning Jump Up)
Starting in the dark of night and going until the light of day, Foreday Morning is a huge street party with paint, mud (and anything else). The pre-party starts at 11 pm on Friday Aug 4, 2023, the street party/Crop Over Night Festival starts at 1 am and it all keeps pumping until 7 am on Saturday Aug 5 2023! Talk about the Ultimate Street Party!?!
Why do I think it’s the top reason to experience Barbados Carnival? Well, it’s:
- A street party with paint (duh). Get paint on you, put it on someone else, rub up on someone with paint (best if it’s done very sexily and suggestively). How could you not have fun?
- As far away from your everyday life as you can get. Talk about an escape…I can’t think of a better way to spend our vacation days!
- PURE freedom; dance, jump and prance in the streets to your heart’s content (oh yeah)…
Similar to Trinidad Carnival’s J’ouvert, Foreday Morning is a parade through the streets. However unlike J’ouvert, Foreday Morning doesn’t take place on the same day as day 1 of the Trinidad Carnival parade (Carnival Monday).
Foreday Morning takes place a full 2 days before the Grand Kadooment. I personally think that’s a GREAT thing! It not only means you can skip the complete exhaustion that you experience on Carnival Monday by having a little break in between the 2 exhilarating experiences, but it also means you get to spread out the BEST partying a little bit. Think of Foreday Morning like a pre-climax! 😉
PLUS, I have to mention the Foreday Morning band we’re with in Barbados – Native J’ouvert! We had a ball with them this year, of which you can see a small sample from the picture above. Native had a new venue this year, plus a bubble machine, water truck (complete with water hose) AND mobile shots! Sounds like a great recipe for a party to me!
Okay, that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading about the top 5 reasons you need to experience Barbados Carnival aka Crop Over. AND with Ultimate Crop Over, we can get you there easily and effortlessly. Choose your package and upgrades, book your flight, pack and show up at the airport – that’s it! Click here to check out Ultimate Crop Over.
Til de next lime,
About Esha: As a travel curator and event planner with over 20 years of experience (whose been to 5 out of the 7 continents), Esha’s helped professional women who don’t have the time, energy, or resources to plan their own vacations so they can travel and enjoy unique, life-changing Caribbean experiences. Visit our website or click the links below to learn more!
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