Kadooment Weekend – The Last Lap
The crop over tradition really began in the late 1600s on the sugar plantations when the workers would celebrate the end of the cutting of the sugar cane crop. Celebrations would include feasting as well as singing and dancing to music. As is evident, the festival is now held on a national scale and is an integral part of summer on the island. From June to August, the tension and excitement steadily increase, all in anticipation of Kadooment weekend – the last lap.
The weekend starts on Friday 4th August with the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals which will take place at the Barbados National Stadium at 8:00pm. (For ticket information, call the National Cultural Foundation at (246) 424 0909. There are many box offices across the island, including CS Pharmacy and Scotiabank. The NCF will have the complete list.
After the Pic-O-De-Crop competition, there is an early morning jump up known as Foreday Morning or J’ouvert (pronounced joovay). The word comes from two French words, ‘jour ouvert’ meaning ‘open day’. If you plan on participating in this event, make sure you wear some old clothes as the party usually includes mud and lots of it! It begins at 2 am and there are a number of different bands you can join. The jump up takes you through the streets of Bridgetown and ends at Spring Garden.
On Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August, the main attraction is Bridgetown Market, a very cultural event in the form of a huge open air street fair showcasing Barbadian arts, crafts and food. The hand made jewellery and leather products are very popular as are the mahogany carvings and figurines. If you are looking for something 100% Bajan, Bridgetown Market is the place to find it.
After Bridgetown Market on Sunday, you can head to the National Stadium for Cohobblopot. There are all sorts of things to see and hear at this event, including a competition for the King and Queen of the Band.
Finally, Monday 7th August is Grand Kadooment and a national holiday. The excitement of the festival culminates early in the morning with the jump up from the National Stadium to the Spring Garden Highway. The bands will cross the stage in a specific order, showing off for the judges as they hope to win Best Band or Best Designer of the Year. There are many bands, each one unique, but all of the revelers look stunning in their vivid crop over costumes.
Of course, in true Bajan style, there is always a little something extra – a last last lap. There are a variety of events that take place the weekend after Kadooment including the Last Lap Craft Fair at the Pelican Village. In addition, there are a number of Thank You fetes organized by the costume bands, a small tribute to their supporters and band members. Check out these events as you are sure to have yet another brilliant time!
Friday 4th August
Saturday 5th August
Independence Square to Spring Garden
Spring Garden Highway
Sunday 6th August
Spring Garden Highway
Monday 7th August
Thursday 10th August
Last Lap Craft Fair
Friday 11th August
Baje Thank You Fete
(check www.kadooment.com for venue information)
August 3rd, 2006