IT is Carnival Monday in Tobago and the villages of Roxborough, Crown Point and Scarborough will come alive today as Tobagonians gather to dance, prance and join in the excitement of the season.
A number of J'Ouvert bands including Tobago’s largest – the infamous Fog Angels in Crown Point, undefeated champion Splash of Beauty from Roxborough and Honey Bee and Winthrop in Scarborough begin their parade in the streets from 4am.
Paint, powder, water and sweet soca music will be seen and heard throughout the day as masqueraders chip behind music trucks, leaving their troubles at home and work behind.
In the afternoon, masqueraders will be pounding the streets of Scarborough during the parade of the bands. Over the years, J'Ouvert celebrations continue to grow with bands such as Moon Over (small band) and Tie Dye City growing from 80 masquerades to 130. And not forgetting new Crown Point J'Ouvert band Monkey Business, coming out from Jade Monkey Casino Bar and Grill joining the fun.
There will be 22 traditional bands, ten senior bands, eight medium, five large bands and two ole mas bands.
Tonight, mud mas will be the highlight of the evening as hundreds will gather in Roxborough and Scarborough to make a final jump to end the first day of Carnival Monday celebrations. This event will be followed by night mas in Scarborough.
Tomorrow, Fog Angles will be making its debut in Tobago mas on Carnival Tuesday with its presentation of “Dazzle.” Judith Rowley of LM and Associates, winner of last year's large band category, will also be coming to defend the title. Pan on the street, another highlight of the island's celebrations, will feature over 15 bands including T&TEC New East Side Dimension, runner-up in Panorama last week.
The island is also expecting an influx of international visitors with the introduction of Sunwing Airlines flight from Toronto, Canada to Tobago. Hoteliers are keeping their fingers crossed after reporting a decline in the domestic visitor arrivals, hoping that Trinidad masquerades will travel to the island to end the hectic season by relaxing on Tobago beaches and in its hotels, guesthouses and inns on Ash Wednesday.