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Tobago Festivals


Roslyn Carrington

February 16, 2024


Tobago Heritage Festival

Between the Dutch, French and English, Tobago has changed hands more times than a rugby ball in a scrum, resulting in an incredibly rich culture. The Tobago Heritage Festival is an ode to the food, drink, music, dance, and art bequeathed by our ancestors over the centuries.

Take part in the re-enactment of an old-time Tobago Wedding, complete with lavishly garbed bride, groom and wedding party, as they do the heel-and-toe down the street alongside a live band. Appreciate the grace of Bélé dancers as they float like blossoms to the beat of African drums. Amateur griots recount their stories while dramatists take to the stage to make you laugh or weep.

Watch foods being prepared the old way; crunchy loaves baked in clay ovens, and sugar cane pressed of sweet juices while you wait.


Blue Food Festival

When you go to an event in Tobago, “Walk with your belly in your hand.” That means “Come hungry!” Sage advice for the Blue Food Festival, because the array of traditional dishes is a challenge.

Is the food really blue? Well, yes and no. We refer to root vegetables such as dasheen, tannia, eddoes, yams and sweet potatoes as “blue food”, when in fact, it’s only the dasheen that turns blue when cooked. But humour us, okay?

Sample creamy “oil down”, made from assorted root vegetables, dasheen leaves and coconut milk, often with pickled pigs’ tails thrown in for flavour. Add a fillet of steamed red fish, a herbed marlin steak, curried crabs or a heap of “fry dry” … sardines so crunchy it’s like munching on seasoned fries. Cooks vie for top honors, but the real winner will be you.

Tobago Carnival

The island explodes with revelry as its own Carnival takes over for two fun filled days, held on a Saturday and Sunday, it’s the ultimate weekend party.

There are fêtes and parades, competitions and “limes”, where you’ll find masqueraders dressed in everything from a thick coating of mud, paint or axle grease to spectacular, shimmering costumes.

There are opportunities galore for posing for colorful social media posts! If you’re early enough you can visit the mas camps across the island to choose a costume, to play “pretty mas”. If you’re brave enough, join a mud or grease paint band. If you aren’t terribly daring, chocolate body paint is also an option!

Date: October 25th - 27th 2024
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