Trinidad & Tobago are two of the more popular islands in the Caribbean traditionally renowned for their picture postcard beaches, crystal clear waters and lush green rainforests. Combined, they attract close to a million visitors each year. Cultural events like the Trinidad & Tobago Carnival in February are also a big draw to the twin islands. But there are also other major events throughout the year. Below we provide a snapshot of the 16 major events confirmed so far.
1. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival
2015 Dates: 16th – 20th February
The Carnival capital of the Caribbean will erupt in revelry as the annual parade of eye-popping costumes, masquerading bands and raving party goers will come together in one exciting celebration. A parade of bands and entertainers will thrill locals and visitors with a blend of the latest soca releases and the nostalgic rhythms of the steel pan. The festivities will feature Calypso and steel pan competitions as the cultural traditions of Trinidad and Tobago come alive to the dancing feet of the multicultural crowds.
Man wearing elaborate costume at Trinidad & Tobago Carnival. Photo credit: ©Go Trinidad & Tobago.
2. Tobago Carnival Regatta
2015 Dates: 20th – 22nd February
The Tobago Carnival Regatta features four days of yacht racing attracting boaters from all over the world. The Regatta Village is set up in the gardens of Pigeon Point and will feature four classes – racing, cruising, charter and liveaboard. Formerly known as the Angostura Yachting World Regatta, the activities will include various organised parties, games and other events.
3. Turtle Watching Season
2015 Dates: 1st March – 30th September
From 1st March – 30th September each year, five species of sea turtles nest on local beaches. These include Leatherbacks, Hawksbills, Green Turtles, Olive Ridleys and Loggerheads. The turtles can mainly be seen on three beaches, Matura, Fishing Pond and Grand Riviere on the northern and eastern coasts. To protect the turtles, these nesting beaches are prohibited areas and a permit must be acquired before entering.
4. Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament
2015 Dates: March – TBA
The Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament is held in the friendly village of Charloteville on the north east tip of Tobago, and attracts anglers from Trinidad and the wider Caribbean, in addition to fishing enthusiasts from around the globe. Just three miles from some of the best big game fishing grounds, the tournament is held during the prime fishing season in March and combines three days of exciting deep sea fishing with the beauty and warmth of Tobago.
5. Tobago Jazz Experience
2015 Dates: 18th – 26th April
Legendary performers like Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson and Kool and The Gang are among the confirmed acts for this year’s staging of the Tobago Jazz Experience. The event draws jazz enthusiasts from all over the world and has seen the likes of John Legend, Dionne Warwick, Trey Songz, Erykah Badu, Elton John and top local musicians. The yearly festivities attract sold-out crowd at different venues across the island and features an array of gastronomical delights.
Performers at Tobago Jazz Experience. Photo credit: ©Go Trinidad & Tobago.
6. Tobago Fashion Weekend
2015 Dates: May – TBA
Tobago Fashion Weekend is the meeting ground for local creative talent as well as designers from around the world who are seeking to establish Tobago as the fashion centre of the Caribbean. The event is in its fifth year.
7. Massy Rainbow Cup International Triathlon
2015 Date: 13th June
Cyclists and runners are drawn to the challenging waters of Tobago to take part in the Massy Rainbow Cup International Triathlon. The event is one that many triathletes look forward to each year to experience the Caribbean and take up the challenge of a 3,000m Open Water Swim, 5k Run, as well as Team Relay Triathlon and Kids Triathlon.
8. Tobago Culinary Festival
2015 Dates: 21st June
The Tobago Culinary Festival is the perfect opportunity to explore the exciting flavours of the local food. Local chefs compete in competitions such as ‘Mystery Basket’ and ‘Iron Chef’ enticing the crowds with the sweet aroma of their dishes. A mixology contest will add much excitement as bartenders show off their skills with creative concoctions.
9. Tobago Dragon Boat Festival
2015 Dates: June – TBA
The annual Festival is now in its 5th year and will feature some of the best teams in the country take part in a 2000-year old sport. The Dragon Boat festival is presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Dragon Boat Association and will be held at Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
10. British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge
2015 Dates: 15th – 22nd June
From June 15 – 22, more than 60 of the most skilful and famous footballers will be in Trinidad and Tobago for the British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge. The event will see players from some of the top football clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester United. Tobago’s own legend, and former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, will headline the exciting showdown as players in the Professional Footballers Assocation go up against the Caribbean All Stars.
Ian Wright and Dwight Yorke, two of the football legends participating in the British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge. Photo credit: ©Go Trinidad & Tobago.
11. Dwight Yorke Celebrity Golf Day
2015 Date: 19th June
Former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke will host a day of celebrity golfing which will lead into the Dwight Yorke International Golf Tournament. Staged on the island of Tobago, the day is a celebration of the culture and natural beauty of the sister island.
12. Heritage Festival
2015 Dates: 16th July – 1st August
The Tobago Heritage Festival will showcase the rich culture and history of the island. Attendees will enjoy parades by villagers from different communities who dress up in traditional costumes replicating the early 1900s, and perform with folk singing, dancing and feasting. Each village will stage different events featuring traditional activities ranging from ‘ole time mas, ‘ole time dance, old time wedding, limbo and jig to stick fighting.
13. The Carib Great Race
2015 Date: 22nd August
The Carib Great Race is an annual event that features boats competing in different classes with some averaging speeds of more than 90 mph on the 85 mile crossing. The race starts in Carenage in Trinidad and ends at Store Bay in Tobago.
14. Tobago International Cycling Classic
2015 Dates: 28th September – 4th October
In 2015, the Tobago International Cycling Classic is celebrating 29 years of world class competitive cycle racing. The event is open to competitors of all ages and is spread across four separate divisions (Open, Sport Men, Sport Ladies, and Mountain). The competition takes place against a backdrop of Caribbean festivities, while world class athletes and amateur riders battle it out on the challenging terrain.
15. Blue Food Festival
2015 Dates: October – TBA
The annual Tobago Blue Food Festival 2015 is now in its 17th year and offers an exciting twist on the traditional culinary event that draws foodies by the thousands. Taking place in the coastal village of Bloody Bay, the root crop, dasheen, will be the inspiration for twenty-five cooks tasked to create dynamic, tasty and healthy dishes from the popular ground provision. The event will also feature a unique crayfish competition in the Bloody Bay Main River, and offer delicious samplings of innovative entrees, desserts and liqueurs on sale. There will also be live entertainment.
Blue Food Festival. Photo credit: ©Go Trinidad & Tobago.
16. Tobago International Rugby Sevens Tournament
2015 Dates: 10th – 14th December
An impressive line-up of over 25 teams from around the world are expected to compete in the Annual Tobago International Rugby 7s Tournament. The island of Tobago will play host as the country’s top rugby players go up against some of the world’s best.
For information about these cultural, musical and sporting events, visit Go Trinidad & Tobago.
Top photo: Tobago Dragon Boat Festival. Photo credit: ©Go Trinidad & Tobago.