“I feel very content with the planning in terms of the Tobago aspect of Carifesta and we are going to execute it and execute it well.”
So says co-ordinator of the Tobago leg of the Caribbean Festival of the Arts (Carifesta) XIV celebrations Elvis Radgman.
For the very first time, Tobago is hosting its own segment of Carifesta, from August 19-21, with delegations from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The three-day agenda kicked off with the Tobago Grand Market launch at the Milford Road Esplanade on Monday.
Speaking with Newsday after the launch, Radgman said: "We welcome it, and Tobago always shines whenever Carifesta comes along. We have always been a part of it from a national perspective and even sending delegations to the host countries, so we’re happy now that it’s happening in TT now again. Tobago is excited and we’re prepared to offer all a great experience.”
After Monday’s launch and then a stage show incorporating Haiti and St Vincent and the Grenadines later in the evening, the action rolled into the village of Pembroke for the Salaka Feast. This then made way for Bonfire in Castara on Tuesday and the Shaw Park Cultural Complex on Wednesday. The Tobago Grand Market opens from 10am - 6 pm daily and will feature a variety of food, fashion, the arts as well as live shows.
Radgman said a total of 156 delegates would participate over the three days.
“It is the largest delegation that ever came to Tobago. We’ve hosted Carifesta before, but this year we had a stronger participation of delegates coming to Tobago and we also had a stronger participation of Tobago acts in Trinidad shows.
“All our visitors, our locals on the ground, they should expect a wonderful offering of presentations from the visiting countries as well as our local acts.”
He commended the organisers and all those who worked behind the scene to ensure that the event was a success.
“Carifesta is a mammoth event that takes a lot of co-ordination. I think the management of Carifesta, from a national perspective or from a local perspective, is something that has to be applauded.
“For those who don’t understand what it takes to really manage something like this of this scale happening in Trinidad, and then managing elements that you have no control over, sometimes you have the best game plan and then there are things that would just change the entire game.”