Barbados Carnival: Color, Costumes, & Music for the Ageless

Barbados Carnival: Color, Costumes, & Music for the Ageless

Kadooment in Barbados is August 3, 2009

Grand Kadooment (Carnival) in Barbados is August 3, 2009

Colorful costumes, music competitions, crowning of kings and queens, and round-the-clock dancing & partying.  That’s Barbados Kadooment, which has been ramping up in energy for four weeks and has one week to go, reaching its frenzied, colorful zenith in six days, on August 3 (it’s always on the first Monday of August).  The island is jam-packed with visitors from all over the world having a terrific time in just what you’d imagine a Caribbean carnival to be.

Anything I say about Kadooment is through the lens of a middle-aged American woman who lived a youth she’s satisfied to leave behind.  So if you’re 25, or think you still are, live your youth to the max by going to the party in Bathsheba this Friday night … It’s your warm-up event for the weekend. No need to waste valuable time going to bed … you need to get to the 2 a.m. Night Parade (from the Carlisle carpark to Spring Garden).  After that, grab a few hours of shut-eye (or not), then head out to the Float Parade (4 p.m. at Spring Garden), followed by the steel pan finals (7 p.m. at Spring Garden).  Limber now?  Wired?  Good!

Grand Kadooment, the event of Barbados’ carnival, begins August 3 at 9 a.m. at the National Stadium (ending at Spring Garden).  Some 10,000 costumed revelers will dance through the crowd-lined streets of Barbados, giant trucks rolling at the speed of the dancers, blasting music.

At one time, Kadooment was the island festival celebrating the end of the sugar cane harvest. Today it’s a time to … just celebrate. Through my aforementioned lens, I love Kadooment and I hate Kadooment.  I love the upbeat energy on the island right now; it’s palpable, infectious.  Everyone’s having a terrific time and you don’t have to be costumed or young or even attending events to enjoy the happy ambiance on this island.

I love the costumes, too, and I adore the steel bands and, when it’s played, I love the Calypso. Of course I love the economic impact; we’ve been booked here at St Lawrence Beach Condominiums since January (and not just by young people; plenty of oldsters and families join in the fun, too.)  I love the Bajan food sold in booths along the street during Kadooment, too.

Which brings me to things I don’t like, which is really only one thing: Soca music.  Sounds like crashing noise to my ears. However, I’m open and will, I hope, acquire a taste for the music of my new country some day.

I guess my musical taste just goes to show how not young I am.  But that’s okay.  You go out and enjoy yourself.  And who knows … I might show up on Monday, “jumping” (dancing in the parade) with you and other ageless fans of Kadooment.

Yes, I think I will be.  After all, life is short.  Let’s dance!

6 Responses to “Barbados Carnival: Color, Costumes, & Music for the Ageless”

  1. Wendy says:

    Give it time Jane and I am sure you will grow to love soca music …. after my work term in the Caribbean (T&T and Bds) I left with a profound love of the music which is still with me today – 15 years or so later. Make sure you go you go to some of the fetes … and report back so we can experience it with you!!

  2. Bajee says:

    It’s okay not to love soca music, it’s an acquired taste I suppose.

    I love soca, but can’t listen to R &B and Rap music, go figure!

    Anyways, I had a blast for Crop Over and was sorry to have to go back to the States. I wish I had taken a ton of pix, but it really was no sleep til Tuesday!

  3. Oh, to be young like you probably are, staying up all day and all night …. ! I’m glad you had a fantastic time at Crop Over. You’ll have to come back next year to take photos 🙂

  4. agel says:

    Wow I just think like you write Thank for sharing.

  5. Kevin says:

    I attended Carnival in Trinidad Feb. 2010 and met some folks from Barbados who told me I must attend Crop Over. Where should I stay in Barbados that will be close to the festivities?

  6. […] Barbados Carnival: Color, Costumes, & Music for the Ageless … Jul 28, 2009 … Grand Kadooment (Carnival) in Barbados is August 3, 2009. Colorful costumes, music competitions, … […]

Leave a Reply