Crop Over 2009

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Every year this festival gets bigger and bigger..... and I do not like large crowds.... however I still ventured out for a few photos.... and I hope you like them.

Tight security, barricades and crowds marked this crop over..... each year it gets more unpleasant for the roaming photographer to navigate the streets in seach of photos on the go

The registered jumpers party between the ropes.... and the occasional stilt-man moves gracefully in between.... as you can appreciate, "jump and wine" is not feasible for stiltmen

Every band has a "king" and "queen"... wearing the most enormous and outlandish costume the designer can dream up.... struts, stays and wheels included... it takes considerable human energy just to move these creations..... so "jump and wine" is not a reasonable choice for these people either

Tourists may be surprised to see the army watching over the event with loaded guns.... but its really in their best interests, as previous experience has shown that words alone do not suffice when the "bad boys" get out of hand

The streets are lined with people obseving the spectacle of the passing revellers.... and the "grape men", "ackee men" and other itinerant vendors usually make a tidy profit on these occasions

Revellers are outfitted with feathers, glitter and body-paint and every band has its flag bearers and flag wavers

I noted that the body-painters went to extraordinary lengths this year.... and here a tourist gets first hand information about what it is all about

Even those persons without exotic costumes still wore something colorful to mark the occasion

The "sound truck" is the focal point of the revelry.... and the effect that the music has on the people has been well documented by me in previous years

"down behind the truck" it is "bumper to bumper" traffic..... and an unusually large bumper is seen as a very desirable asset under these circumstances

visitors and locals interact in all sorts of creative and interesting ways.... much to the delight of photographers lining the route

as the frenzy continues..... the roving photographer is delighted by this "pouch back" display of "bumper mechanics".... right underneath the "GET BACK TO GOD" sign..... CONTROVERSY is always at the center of Crop-Over as the churches are split over the issue.... on the one hand, we have the Bible-thumpers who condemn the festival as the very manifestation of EVIL.... and on the other hand, we have the "walk holy" revellers who believe they are "glorifying" God with a "holy" jump an wine

Whatever view you subscribe to, there is no denying that such a gorgeous display of human flesh has a profound stimulating effect on both observers and participants.... and now you can safely view my photos in the privacy of your own bedroom.... isn't technology wonderful ?

Now the other controversy... is CHILDREN.... much fuss is made of their behaviour in schools and elsewhere... but everyone accepts the right of parents to raise their offspring "like themselves"..... so when a child is a "registered" reveller along with their parent it is quite accepatble.... presumably the Bible-thumpers keep their children at home.... but is this really fair to the children ?.... why should one go to hell and the other to heaven, just because they were born to parents with different viewpoints ?

thank you for viewing my photos.... and I hope you enjoy them

what I noticed this year.... was the talent of the ARTISTS who applied the body paint.... obviously there must have been resident artists with each of the bands.... to paint the creations that I saw on the revellers

the drinks van was in great demand.... because it was an exceedingly hot day

Another example of artistic body-painting

Emergency medical vehicle to rescue "damaged" revellers.... or people who have simply fainted from the HEAT of the day

The giant water tank says it all.... this was the hottest crop-over I have ever attended...

Doing his part for tourism..... a photo to cherish.... a memorable experience in Barbados

These last five photos give you a good idea of what it was like..... and if you like what you see..... then visit us next year for Crop Over 2010

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copyright 2009 Stephen E. Mendes, Barbados.