I am obsessed with sunshine, beaches, dancing, Soca music, and bikinis so to combine that into one weekend filled with incredible people, like my friends Danni Washington and Justin Henry, and non stop parties is a dream come true! Crop Over is carnival in Barbados. It is hands down one of the best festivals I have ever been to. Visit JetBlue Vacations to book your flight and accommodation to Barbados for their best price guarantee and additional savings!
More about Crop Over
Crop Over is a 200 year old tradition! It started as a celebration to mark the end of sugar cane season. The festivities stretch over a 5-6 week period with a ton of parties, markets, and street fares. The festival comes to an end on the first Monday in August with the final celebration of Kadooment day. On Kadooment day everyone plays mas with their band and dances their way down Spring Garden Highway in full Carnival attire for hourssss. It’s amazing. If you aren’t super hip to Soca music, start listening to it now! You have got to get the rhythm into your system hunnty!
Here is a Soca playlist by DJ Puffy! He DJ’d a few parties I attended curing Crop Over and was a whole vibe!
How to sign up to play mas at Crop Over?
To participate in Kadooment Day you will need to join a band. There are more than 10 or 15 bands to join and thousands of people who sign up to participate. The best pones fill up QUICK and you will need ample time for your costumes to be made. We joined Zulu International for our first Crop Over by recommendation of a friend and are so happy we worked with them because their group was too much fun! Seriously. On top of that, the costume design we wore won best creative design so HI HELLO YES WE LOOKED PHENOMENAL!
To sign up to ZuluInternational check out their sign up information. For Crop Over, you’ll want to coordinate your travel, your accommodation, tickets to the events you want to attend (they sell out quick!) and the band you are playing mas with. After that its a breeze!
Your costume will be made by the band you are joining and you will arrange to pick it once you get to Barbados. The particulars of how to pick up your costume you will work out with the band but it should be straight forward!
You are going to be sooooo hype when you see it!! AND I know the costume looks small… and honestly it is IRL haha. You can pick from frontline and backline costumes (backline cost less I believe) which will give you somewhat of an option to choose the more or less conservative one based on your preference BUT GIRL! Do not feel shy about your body in any way shape or form. This is about celebrating. You are perfect. Your body serves you by providing you a vessel in which to live through, to experience the joys of the world through, to act on your passions through, to spread love and light through!
So do not hinder yourself by being insecure. Don’t limit your potential to live freely based on stretch marks or fat cells or scars or hairs that grow where you wish they wouldn’t or uneven boobs or nips you think are going to hang out of the costume (there’s pasties for this exact reason but hey Free the Nipple if you want to!) or anything else we can think of to make ourselves prisoners in our bodies.
Not to say I didn’t go hard in the gym before hand because I sure did, I wanted to be what I thought was my best version of me. And I still do go hard. But one of the major take aways of this experience, of seeing so many women in all shapes and sizes embracing their bodies and enjoying themselves, is that the human body is beautiful regardless of anything we see “wrong” or “right” about ours. Workout, eat well, feel good, do all those things, but above all, LOVE yourself no matter what and do not WAIT until you are perfect to live. You can and will live your best life while trying to become more healthy and comfortable with your body if you keep a positive and loving mindset.
Let it all hang out! LIVE FREELY. GET FREE. BE FREE! And dance your ass off. Woop woop! So yes… the outfit is small. But do we care?! Heck no because we are about to have one of the best times of our lives and not a dang person is going to think anything about what we look like. They are actually going to be rooting for our good time as much as we are rooting for theirs. Ok I am done preaching I just want to make sure you know this boo!
We flew JetBlue Airlines to Barbados which has an incredible deal available in their JetBlue Awards Program by the way. You can book your flight and hotel for a discount! We stayed at Sea Breeze Beach Resort right on the beach in Barbados.
The white sand and blue waters were heaven. It’s an all inclusive with seriously delicious food for breakfast lunch and dinner, awesome beach staff to support you in all your kayaking, mini catamaraning, beach volleyballing, sunbathing and recreational water dreams, and fun themed nights and activities. We enjoyed our fair share of rum tastings, beach lounging, and tasty food when not busy with Crop Over festivities.
We had a lovely two bedroom suite with king beds, a balcony over looking the beach, a large bathroom, and cute living room space where we enjoyed hot tea every morning trying to recover our voices from all the antics of the nights before. I would absolutely stay again!
Gosh there are so many. I wouldn’t even consider myself an expert cause I am sure we only hit a fraction of them but check out the Visit Barbados site for tickets and details on ALL the events and festivities for Crop Over.
One’s I loved:
ForeDay– It takes place the Friday before Kadooment day. You can also dress up for this one so check out some of the bands and brands who participate. We joined Banks Beer who gave us their one piece costume and cute water bottles we later realized were for rum they served from the drink station on the back of their float. OK WE SEE YOU BARBADOS! I was surprised when I heard the start time for this one lol.. MIDNIGHT… until 7 am. What is sleep? Why would we need that? No but this was so much fun. You start the night off with a paint party where you literally throw paint all over each other.
AND THEN… you dance non stop until 7am where you take your rusty joints and ashy body (you’d better lotion up cause that paint will leave you high and dry!) home to bed. This happened our first night in Barbados and set the tone for the whole weekend. LIT.
Lost In Paradise– I don’t know if their decor themes change every year but this event was decked out like a scene from Avatar. This was the first event we heard DJ Puffy spin and he killed it. They had food, drinks, performances, and all the vibes. Look out for them! We would definitely go again!
Additional things to note:
It’s honestly so much fun. Watch the video of our experience!
Filmed and edited by Justin Henry (Thanks Justin, we love you!)
For your Kadooment Day costume, get pasties, nude tights (Get them from Carnivalista, everyone does and they’re niceeee), and wear the most comfortable shoes you can. Your feet will likely swell a little from the heat and long time walking/dancing/winding/ living your best life-ing. People wore sneakers or boots! I wore some Ked look a-likes from Wal-Mart 🙂 Hi Hello, #WalmartChic.
The sun is BRUTAL! I got a hilarious tan from my costume. Try to tan on the beach the days leading up to it. It might help but I am not guaranteeing anything haha it’s part of the fun anyway! Eitherway wear sunscreen. And use aloe vera gel after the sun (fresh if you can! which you should be able to as it grows on the island) and keep your skin moisturized. I recommend raw shea butter or a shea butter based body butter. Check out SkinButtr!
Hydrate. This is always a rule. No matter what you are doing in life. But especially on this weekend of shenanigans and extreme sunshine and lots and lots of rum punch. Drink water even when you don’t think you need it and probably more than you usually do at home. Don’t over do it of course but please be mindful and keep your water bottle the band gives you with your costume FULL of H2O. Your body needs it suga plum. Don’t play with me. I want your weekend to be flawless and enjoyable and I wan’t you to leave exhausted from dancing too much, not from the heat!
Get into SOCA! I know this is a repeat but you I really want you to. I loved it more than ever after CropOver. I’m obsessed now. There are tons of dope Soca playlists and DJ’s and artists. The first Soca Artist I fell in love with was Destra! I heard her song Lucy when I was on Holiday in Turks + Caicos and literally played it about 30 times that weekend alone.
What to pack? Whew. Ok so definitely lots of bikinis (bring one thong bikini so you can really tan cause the sun in Barbados is perfect), great skincare, some snack bars like LarBar for these long nights and days (I am so serious haha). Comfortable shoes! Maybe oneeee solitary pair of heels if you plan to have a fancy dinner night but for the most part I wore sandals or sneakers everyday and night. You do not want to play when it comes to hurting your feet. Comfort is KEY. I really love a hand paper fan of sorts when I am hot. I don’t know if you sweat much but when I am hot and this hair is out…sweaty betty lol and a little hand fan really comes in handy. Make sure you have a good book for the beach days and some good hair products. I took Maui Moisture with me. Even kept a little heat protection oil in my bag!
If you consider a protective style, don’t make it a heavy one! So if you do braids or twists, make them light and thin. Otherwise pack some head scarves and do some up do’s!
THANK YOU for reading my blog post! If you have any questions let me know! Thank you JetBlue for another amazing partnership. Although this blog was created in partnership with JetBlue, all thoughts and opinions remain my own. Let me know if you have any questions or comments in the section below!
Travel, Love, Grow,
René Daniella xxo