Cropover Festival, Barbados

October 19, 2018

You will have certainly heard of the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados, but you may not have heard of its yearly festival Cropover; a celebration that honours the end of the sugar cane crop season, with a week-long agenda of parties and festivities.  Put your dancing shoes on and bring all your stamina and energy for this carnival as you learn how the locals party in style.

You will want to check out at least one of the breakfast parties, which is one of the only places in the world it’s socially acceptable (in fact, encouraged) to enjoy your scrambled egg with a strong rum punch at 7am.  Bajan’s greet each other enthusiastically as old friends and acquaintances come together for this universal celebration which draws party-goers from all generations.

Foreday morning is one of the defining events of the Cropover festival; an all-night party starting around 11pm and finishing in the early hours of the next morning, usually after a hearty breakfast and a dip in the ocean. You take part in the festival by ‘jumping’ with a ‘band’, which involves wearing a (usually customised) band t-shirt, decorating yourself in body paint and following the music float through the streets of Barbados, dancing, drinking, coating yourself and others in yet more body paint and generally having a merry time.

You’ll do this to a soundtrack of sweet SOCA music; a mish-mash sound of calypso, bashment, afro-beat and EDM, originating in the neighbouring islands of Trinidad and Tobago.  There are almost 50 bands, each with several hundred ‘jumpers’ in this particular event so the streets of Barbados are alive with the sound of people singing, grinding and having too good a time.  A total feast for the eyes; pots of body paint are circulated around during the night, encouraging party-goers to coat themselves and their neighbours in vibrant blues, pinks, yellows and greens.  Its inclusive feel attracts visitors from all over the world, but it’s really the Bajans with their boundless energy, stamina and fierce spirit that keep the party going until six in the morning.

Cropover finishes with a bang, which is a party you will almost certainly not want to miss.

Their final celebration, Grand Kadooment Day involves a dazzling array of bright colours, feathers and intricately jewelled costumes, as people parade down the streets of Barbados, in an event that lasts the best part of a day.

We stayed at The Colony Club Hotel during our visit which was a restful oasis we could retreat back to in-between all of the parties.  It was a bright and modern hotel offering luxury rooms which is set on a beautiful stretch of beach on the west coast of the island.  We enjoyed downtime by lounging around on a luxury sunbed by their spacious swimming pool.

Other island highlights included a day spent at the newly-opened Nikki Beach Club, where we enjoyed some incredible cocktails to an awesome live-DJ soundtrack whilst lounging on the spacious loungers. The lunch there was also a standout meal. A must-visit if you are going to Barbados.

You should almost definitely make time for a lunch at Lonestar which is set on a idyllic stretch of beach and serves a range of delicious modern-European dishes.  Don’t leave the island without trying their banana doughnuts!

Cropover is a popular festival so book early to secure your flights and accommodation.

More information about the festival can be found here.  For more information on visiting Barbados visit the official Barbados tourism board website here.  Virgin Atlantic operate daily flights direct to Barbados.

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Mel Hales

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