Tobago Carnival

Moko Jumbie performing in Scarborough, Tobago

Thursday 05th October, Scarborough, Tobago: Plans for Tobago Carnival 2023 continue apace.  Last weekend a promotional Roadshow took place in Trinidad, featuring Tobago Artistes including, Shurwayne Winchester, Adana and Tam Tam alongside acts from Trinidad.  Local Mas and J’ouvert bands were also present to promote their costumes and presentations.

This year’s carnival will see the participation of fifty-four (54) bands in the small, medium and large band categories, parading through the streets of Tobago for J’ouvert, Night Mas and the Parade of the Bands during the period 27th-29th October.  One new and exciting feature of this year’s carnival includes the Festival Grounds which will be located on the Scarborough Esplanade and this space will serve as a carnival village which will showcase our local calypsonians and vendors as well as sponsors. The Festival Grounds will be launched from Monday 23rd October and will continue through to the end of the season. In addition there will be the Tobago Soca Titans Competition which will link October Carnival to national carnival celebrations, the Junior Calypso Monarch, Pan Trinbago’s Rhythm, Steel and Powder and the TUCO Legends Showcase.

This year’s Carnival is being held at an estimated cost of $12,590,660.00 which will cover subventions to interest groups, logistics, infrastructure and other related expenses for this year’s festivities. This figure represents a decrease in the actual spend for last year’s investment into the inaugural Tobago October Carnival as the Division remains committed to ensuring the sustainability of this new product. The Division has also welcomed the official support of major sponsors Republic Bank Ltd, bmobile and Carib Brewery.

This year’s Carnival festivities are being coordinated by the Division through three of its special purpose companies: Tobago Festivals Commission Limited, Tobago Tourism Agency Limited and Tobago Performing Arts Company. Throughout the planning process for this year’s Carnival there has been continuous and direct engagement with stakeholders, some of these include local promoters, mas and cultural stakeholders, industry service providers, the National Carnival Commission (NCC), Pan Trinbago, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organization (TUCO), Tobago October Carnival Association (TOCA) and national security apparatus.

The Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, Councillor Tashia Burris is especially pleased with the level of stakeholder engagement and the open door facilitatory environment that has been created. Moreover, she looks forward to the progression of the plans and a successful, enjoyable and safe season which culminates in the island’s capital on the weekend of October 27th-29th.