Crop Over 2016 officially climaxed sunday night with the annual awards ceremony recognizing key players in the historic festival.
Artistes, bandleaders and producers were awarded for making this year’s event a success. It was a night of remembering the highs and lows of the season, while anticipating Crop Over 2017.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley noted that besides having a bigger festival in the year in which Barbados celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence, the season saw other milestones.
He pointed to the 200th anniversary of the Bussa Rebellion and Betty West marking 25 years as a bandleader among those achievements.
Noting that the 2016 festival was especially geared towards highlighting Barbados as a distinguished world heritage destination, Lashley lauded events such as the Bridgetown by Night Heritage Walk for their role in preserving Barbados’ cultural identity for generations to come.
“In order to build a sound legacy over the 50 years, we as a nation must never forget our stories and from whence we came,” the Minister said.
He expressed his content with this year’s events, such as the Junior Calypso Monarch as well as Aziza Clarke, herself a former junior monarch, becoming the youngest Pic-O-De-Crop winner, and the first female monarch in 25 years.
Soca Royale, Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment remained well attended events and Pantastic Weekend is becoming a phenomenon, Lashley noted.
Big winners at last night’s ceremony included Lil Rick who copped three titles this season, King of the Crop Grantley Hurley and Queen of the Crop Judy Cumberbatch, Ooutraje Festival Band led by Trevor Chase and band designer Gwyneth Squires.
A video tribute was presented in remembrance of festival jewels Reggie Cave, who passed away earlier this year, and Happy Go Lucky co-bandleader Renee Radcliffe who collapsed and died on Kadooment Day.
The night culminated with performances from the artistes who took home crowns in their respective competitions. Junior Monarchs Summa Sargeant, the winner in the 8-12 category of the competition, and Chad De MC Montplaisir who won the crown in the 13-18 section, took to the stage performing Go Away Recession and Outta Love respectively.
Party Monarch winner Lil Rick and Soca Royale winner Edwin Yearwood, both dressed in white, performed their hits, Iz a Bajan and Home Sweet Home.
The Mighty Grynner, who celebrated 48 years in the industry, ended the evening with his crowd pleaser Turn Up De Speaker.
Kevin Herbert was announced the winner of the Lot 5 for 50 competition in which anyone who purchased a ticket for a National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Crop Over event was given a chance to win a piece of land.
Herbert, who is currently employed in Tobago, was elated when informed of his fortune. His parents Avril Herbert and Cedley Maynard collected the congratulatory letter on his behalf and said the land could not have been won by a better person.