Barbadians and visitors jumped, danced, drank and partied in other unimaginable ways along the streets Monday to wrap up another CropOver festival, the island’s biggest, and internationally renowned, annual celebration.
Thousands turned out in creative costumes in several bands competing for various prizes, while others joined in with get-ups that seem to be getting smaller with the passage of each year, leaving the gyrating bodies more exposed than a bikini-clad visitor to the island’s pristine beaches.
The occasion was ‘Grand Kadooment’ the climax of a month-long of entertainment when thousands of locals and visitors from around the world take to the streets of Barbados, forget their daily worries and rave as if there is no tomorrow.
CropOver celebrations have their birth in festivities marking the traditional June end of the season of reaping of sugar cane, the principal reason for Caribbean slavery.
Back in the days of bondage, slaves celebrated the respite from the drudgery with communal cooking, dances and other forms of merriment.
Over the years it evolved into a month-long festivals or art, dance and music with massive partying ending with unrestricted abandon on the days immediately surrounding Emancipation Day.
Regardless of day of the week on which Emancipation Day falls, the Grand Kadooment street party is set for the first Monday of the month, August Monday.
Amid all the revelry there was the serious matter of awards for bands, a crowning recognition of the artistic work of designers.
‘Fifth Element’ band leader and designer Kevin Small, for the second year straight, took home the Robert Weekes award for Best Festival Designer.
Gwyneth Squires of the band themed, “Paint Me a Paradise” was second for Best Festival Designer veteran Betty West claimed third spot.