Crop Over Returns to Barbados

Barbados wants people to stop over for its Crop Over festival

Flying Fish

Barbados is gearing up to celebrate its annual summer festival, Crop Over: The Sweetest Summer Festival, which celebrates the end of the sugar cane season with food and music from June 30 to Aug. 6.

Barbados is the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island with numerous internationally renowned chefs. Barbados is hailed as "The Land of the Flying Fish," and during the sugar cane celebration, chefs cook up the national dish, coucou and flying fish. Coucou and flying fish is a dish is made with corn meal, okra, and flying fish topped with a sauce of tomato, onion, and chives.

The Crop Over celebration started in the 1780s, when the island was one of the world’s primary sugar producers. Today, the festival has transformed into a five-week fete full of musical entertainment and cultural activities.

A farmer’s market kicks off Crop Over: The Sweetest Summer Festival at 7 a.m. in Queen’s Park on Saturday, June 30, followed by the Opening Gala & Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, which includes performances of steel pan rhythms, traditional dances, and fire-eating shows.

The finale of Crop Over: The Sweetest Summer Festival falls on Aug. 6, a national holiday known as Grand Kadooment Day in which island natives dress in traditional costumes of vibrant colors, sequins, feathers, and jewels and parade down the streets alongside musicians and performers to honor the island’s history of sugar cane production.

See Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival