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Back-in-time Crop Over

Yvette Best

Back-in-time Crop Over

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Crop Over took a giant nostalgic step back yesterday to officially launch the 40th edition of the festival.
The inaugural Republic Bank City Fest and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes – which transformed Bridgetown and closed it to vehicular traffic for more than 12 hours – took those old enough to remember when the festival started in this current format, and gave the younger ones and visitors an appreciation for the various elements of the Sweetest Summer Festival.
Steel pan, decorated donkey carts, the indigenous rollers and road tennis, which all featured prominently during Crop Over in the early years, were incorporated into the activities to kick, what officials hope to be the biggest festival ever, into a higher gear.
In his address, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley noted that Crop Over had not only moved away from the plantations to Bridgetown, Spring Garden and across Barbados over the years, but had crossed international borders to make “appearances” on Eastern Parkway in New York for Labour Day, Toronto for Caribana, Notting Hill Carnival in London, and wider afield through the music, and had even gone viral.
Lashley urged Barbadians to use the 40th anniversary of Crop Over to “celebrate ourselves and our heritage”. But he cautioned that “in our celebrations let us be circumspect and work together for a safe and accident- free Crop Over”.