Crop Over in Barbados is where we Trinis, at least those who are not doing the North American summer jaunts, head after Carnival to continue having a good time. The festival took its name from the days of slavery when the end of the sugar harvest would take place. Crop Over, having been reintroduced in 1973 by the then Board of Tourism, after it had been absent for many years, is the second largest economic activity after Christmas to reap the island a handsome revenue each year.
RIGHT: National Cultural Foundation (NCF) of Barbados corporate communications specialist, Wayne Simmons.
In an interview last week with the affable Wayne Simmons, corporate communications specialist of Barbados' National Cultural Foundation (NCF), he spoke enthusiastically of Crop Over's promotional campaign–Follow Me To Crop Over–an ongoing campaign by the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA) and the NCF, born over a decade ago. Follow Me To Crop Over is basically selling the festival to local masqueraders. To accomplish this, Simmons and his team were present at major Carnival fetes locally, promoting Crop Over through posters placed strategically near stages.
Crop Over Girls were also seen at prime C2K10 events handing out calendars of the festival's events to Carnival lovers. These calendars also gave people the opportunity to win tickets to Barbados to experience Crop Over with all expenses paid. Crop Over 2K10 begins on July 3 and ends on August 2. For six weeks the festival focuses on literary arts presentations, visual arts presentations, calypso competitions, Pic-o-de-crop (National Calypso Monarch), Party Monarch, Sweet Soca Monarch and Tune of the Crop (Road March) events.
Home away from home
Making a trip to Barbados for Crop Over is made even more enticing by the strong T&T presence that has perennially been evident in the festival. That strong Trini influence can be seen and felt at a number of all-inclusive galas, the most popular being the one hosted by West Indies star batsman Brian Lara at his Barbados residence.
Many of the bands also hire the services of local mas artisans and designers to assist in the production of their street presentations, not to mention the most popular artistes of T&T Carnival are also hired to perform at all the major shows, including the likes of Machel Montano, The HD Family, David Rudder, Denise Belfon and Tony Prescott.
The Bajans are here
Simmons also stated that for Carnival Monday and Tuesday on the road, masqueraders would notice people dressed in the national colours of Barbados moving through the bands. This, he said, is to make revellers aware that the Bajans are here. Simmons said apart from the NCF and the BTA there were other groups from Barbados, promoting Crop Over on Monday and Tuesday; the largest contingent being Power X 4, Crop Over's largest mas band. Also gracing our shores for Carnival were Barbados Minister of Culture Steve Blanckett; CEO of NCF Dr Donna Hunt-Cox; and NCF board member Errol Rollins.
For more info on Crop Over, visit