Bumper weekend of activities in Tobago

Children have fun with the maypole at Mt Pleasant Sports and Family Day on Easter Monday 2023.
Children have fun with the maypole at Mt Pleasant Sports and Family Day on Easter Monday 2023.

HAVING rebounded to a large extent from the covid19 pandemic of 2020-2022, Tobago is once again gearing up for a bumper Easter weekend, filled with activities for everyone.

The schedule includes several staple events and a few burgeoning ones which organisers believe are guaranteed to attract locals and visitors alike.

Today – Good Friday – all roads lead to the capital city for the second annual Scarborough Fisherman’s Fest on the Esplanade, Milford Road.

Hosted by fishermen from Scarborough and businessmen in the area, the event is billed as a family affair. There will be a variety of food vendors and a well-stocked bar.

“It will be like a mini-carnival in Easter,” businessman Raphael Ben Yisrael told Newsday.

Ben Yisrael said the event, which he believes will be bigger than last year, will be loaded with activities for families to enjoy.

The free event begins at 7 am with a 5K run from the I Love You Tobago sign on Milford Road through various parts of Scarborough. But the official programme does not start until 9 am.

Patrons can also look forward to boat racing, an aerobic burnout, Mortal Kombat video game, arm-wrestling and a beer-drinking competition. There will also be draughts, chess, all-fours and dominoes competitions.

In keeping with Easter, Phillips said a bonnet pageant has been planned for the girls. There will also be a kids’ treasure hunt, piñata and a bouncy castle for children.

Several artistes will also provide entertainment. These include reggae singer Prophet Benjamin (Devon Samuel); former Tobago Stars of Soca winner Culture B (Roston Simon); Adana, Trendsetter; and Jacquez.

Terrence Phillips, a member of the organising committee, said they have received support from the Tobago House of Assembly.

“We are very grateful to the THA. They have paid for the spot on the Esplanade, the tents and stage. Other small businesses have also supported. So everything is on track, the THA is corresponding with us. Everything is in a gear.”

Saying registration for the 5K run is ongoing, Phillips added, “The registration for the all fours, video game and Easter bonnet competition are almost full.”

He said the members are proud of the way they have managed to put the event together.

“Last year, we attracted a large turnout. But this year, everybody is a little more interested.”

Phillips claimed Scarborough has not had many activities over the years.

“So me and my friends decided we will throw something for the people for Easter, because the place is usually dead during this time. Now we are hoping it will be an annual affair.”

He urged people to come out and enjoy the activities.

On April 1 – Easter Monday – it’s off to the Mt Pleasant Recreation Ground for the village’s sports and family day. Scheduled to begin at 9 am, the event, now in its 49th year, is being hosted by the Carnbee/Mt Pleasant Village Council.

Jean Scott-Henry, the village council’s assistant secretary, said the event promises to be bigger and better.

Apart from several goat events, Scott-Henry said, there will be a stream of athletic races for both children and adults.

Nykosi Mander with his goat Soft Target, of Black Rock, wins the 100
metre Class A goat race at Mt Pleasant Sports and Family Day on
Easter Monday, April 10, 2023.

She said parents should bring a valid form of identification for their children.

“We have events for various age groups, and because everybody wants to win, we realize that some of them give wrong ages. So to avoid that, we are asking that parents walk with some kind of identification.”

There will also be a maypole exhibition as well as a greasy pole competition and tug-o-war for teams of ten participants.

For the tug-o-war, Scott-Henry said teams are required to pay a registration fee.

She said the Easter bonnet parade will again be a highlight of the festivity.

The high point of the entertainment segment of the event, Scott-Henry said, is expected to be a performance by dancehall reggae artiste Ding Dong (Kemar Christopher Dwaine Ottey). Several Tobago artistes are also scheduled to perform.

Scott-Henry, a member of the village council for more than 20 years, said bmobile and Mt Pleasant Credit Union are the main sponsors for the event.

She said the credit union’s manager, Louis Charles, is expected to speak.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine and Tobago West MP Shamfa Cudjoe are expected to attend.

“Mt Pleasant sports and family day has always been a family affair. You have a lot of vendors, plenty local food, a lot of games for the children.”

The Mt Pleasant extravaganza makes way for the 96th edition of the Buccoo Village Council’s Goat and Crab Race Festival on April 2, dubbed “Easter Tuesday,” at the Buccoo Integrated Facility.

The festival is one of the major events on Tobago’s cultural calendar, and organisers are anticipating another bumper turnout.

These men enjoy a game of draughts at the Scarborough Fisherman Festival, Milford Road, Scarborough, on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.

Village council vice-president Winston Pereira told Newsday the festival, titled Welcome to the Circus, unites various elements of the island’s vibrant culture.

The formal part of the event is expected to begin at 10 am with addresses by the Chief Secretary, Buccoo Village Council president Keigon Denoon and an official from the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation.

Perreira said apart from the goat and crab races, a popular feature of the festival, patrons can also look forward to a lively street parade from the Caribbean Cornerstores Supermarket into the integrated facility.

The parade, which is expected to begin at 9 am, features a host of Carnival and folklore characters and performances by members of the Tobago Performing Arts Company.

The Buccoo-based NGO Healing With Horses will also be a part of the parade.

Road march winner and Young King Mical Teja, whose song DNA burned up the airwaves during Carnival, is expected to be the headliner of the festival’s cultural segment. Other scheduled acts are Tobago Heritage monarch Garve Sandy, Erphaan Alves, Wadicks (Kevin Williams), Rhythm Babes, Scarborough RC speech band and NLCB Buccooneers.


"Bumper weekend of activities in Tobago"

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