By Neil Kook.
Stuck as to where to travel to? TLE Travel is here to help.
With a host of star-studded Football Legends due to hit Tobago shores to compete at The British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge tournament in June, Trinidad and Tobago are getting ready to allure visitors with a vibrant and exciting calendar of events for 2015.
The twin islands traditionally renowned for their picture postcard beaches, crystal clear waters and lush green rainforests also have a rich cultural events programme. Kicking off next month with a world class Carnival often described as the ‘greatest show on earth,’ before Kool and the Gang, Jill Scott and Jennifer Hudson head to Tobago to perform live at the Annual Tobago Jazz Experience.
Equally appealing as a destination for sports lovers, the islands densely populated calendar of sporting events includes the Mountain and Bike Trail Run in March, The Dwight Yorke Celebrity Golf Day in June, the Carib Great Boating Race in August and The Tobago International Cycling Classic Race in September.
With increased flight capacity on British Airways, Virgin’s restored Summer Service as of 29th March 2015, there has never been a better time to visit this magnificent, compelling Caribbean destination.
A snapshot of some of the key events taking place in Trinidad and Tobago’s in 2015:
- Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, 16th – 20th February
The streets of Trinidad and Tobago explode with colour, music, revelry and creativity for Carnival with its mixture of masquerade bands, spectacular costumes, pulsating music and unparalleled stamina for partying drawing local party goers and tourists alike. This eye-opening, multi-cultural festival described by many as the ‘greatest show on earth’ fuses attributes of Mardi Gras, the best dance, Calypso and Pan entertainment of the Caribbean and traditional music from days of old.
- Tobago Carnival Regatta, 20th – 22nd FebruaryPreviously known as the Angostura Yachting World Regatta, the event features four days of yacht racing in four classes – racing, cruising, charter and liveaboard. A Regatta Village is set up in the gardens of Pigeon Point and there are various organised parties, games and other events taking place.March
- Turtle Watching Season, 1st March- 30th SeptemberThe main nesting season for local sea turtles runs from 1st March – 30th September of each year. Three of the main nesting beaches – Matura, Fishing Pond and Grand Riviere become home to five main types of sea turtles which have been nesting on the northern and eastern coasts. These include; leatherbacks, Hawksbills, Green Turtles, Olive Ridleys and Loggerheads.
- Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament
The Tournament is held during the prime fishing season in March and combines three days of fantastic deep sea fishing within the vibrancy, beauty and friendliness of Tobago. The event attracts game fishermen and women from Trinidad, the Caribbean region as well as international fishing enthusiasts and is held in the friendly village of Charlotteville on the north eastern tip of Tobago, 3 miles from some of the best big game fishing grounds.
- Tobago Jazz Experience, 18th – 26th AprilThe Tobago Jazz Experience has seen the likes of John Legend, Dionne Warwick, Leanne Lahavas, Elton John and local musicians perform to a sold-out crowd at different venues across the island. This year will be as popular as ever attracting jazz enthusiasts from across the globe with confirmed acts including Jill Scott, Jennifer Hudson and Kool and The Gang. Tobago Jazz Experience has last year’s information. Please check this website for the latest updates. www.tobagojazzexperience.comMay
- Tobago Fashion Weekend 2015, 13th – 17 MayAfter four successful years of bringing fashion to the fore, Tobago Fashion Weekend seeks to further elevate the profile of local creative talent as well as designers from around the world.June
- Massy Rainbow Cup International Triathlon, 13thJuneTobago is a truly special place for a triathlon with its enticing Caribbean waters, punishing undulating tracks for cyclists and runners proving a magnificent yet challenging experience for triathletes.
- Tobago Culinary Festival, 21st JuneA popular item on Trinidad and Tobago’s event calendar, the Tobago Culinary festival features great food, fine wine and an opportunity for the islands best chefs to showcase their talent. Local chefs will once again face off in the ‘Mystery Basket’ and ‘Iron Chef’ competitions whilst bar tenders will impress the crowd with their aromatic concoctions in an electrifying mixology contest.
- British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge, 15th – 22nd June
Trinidad and Tobago is gearing up to host 64 of the most skilful, tenacious, cultured, and famous footballers at the British Airways Tobago Football Legends Challenge, 15th – 22nd June. Led by Tobago’s own Legend and former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, teams representing top clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester United will face off against each other alongside the PFA and Caribbean All Stars select teams.
- Dwight Yorke Celebrity Golf Day, 19th June
A day of celebrity golfing, infused with a celebration of the rich beauty and culture of Tobago serves as a prelude to the Dwight Yorke International Golf Tournament.
July / August
- Heritage Festival, 16th July – 1st AugustTobagonians are very proud of their culture and history. During theTobago Heritage Festival, villagers from different communities comes out in their glory to perform with folk singing, dancing and feasting as well as dressing up in traditional costumes that depict village life from the early 1900’s. During the year each community has its own festival. Each village has different events which range from ‘ole time mas, ‘ole time dance, old time wedding, limbo and jig to stick fighting.
- International Conference and Panorama (ICP), 4-9th August
For over 75 years the world has enjoyed the scintillating, pulsating music of the steelband and 50 years have been celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago. Pan Trinbago Inc. of Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting the inaugural ICP. The Conference seeks to bring together persons involved in all aspects of Steelpan performance, development, research, and commerce to share their knowledge and experiences about the Steelpan. The ICP begins with an Opening Ceremony on August 4 followed by the formal Conference sessions during August 5-7 and culminates with the first International Panorama on August 9. In addition, there will be a number of events including Steelpan Expos, working meetings, and tours to celebrate the Steelpan.
- The Carib Great Race, 22nd August
The annual Great Race is an exciting power boat race that starts in Carenage in Trinidad and ends at Store Bay in Tobago. Boats of different classes compete in different classes with some averaging more than 90 mph on the 85 mile crossing.
September / October
- Tobago International Cycling Classic 2015, 28th Sept – 4th Oct
The Caribbean’s answer to the Tour de France, the TICC is celebrating its 29th year of world class competitive cycle racing open to competitors of all ages and abilities keen to battle it out on merciless yet captivating terrain. Broken into four separate divisions (Open, Sport Men, Sport Ladies, and Mountain), the Classic invites world class athletes and amateur riders (plus coaches, team sponsors, journalists, cycling officials and eager fans) to test their skills. The unique riding festival inspires an electric atmosphere on island with lots of fun & festivities. Live the Culture, Tobago style.
- Tobago Dragon Boat Festival, 11th October 2015 Presented by the Trinidad and Tobago Dragon Boat Association at Pigeon Point Heritage Park and now in its 5th year, the annual event will feature some of the best Dragon Boating Teams in the country.
- Blue Food Festival, 18th October
The coastal village of Bloody Bay will attract epicureans as thousands attend the annual Tobago Blue Food Festival 2015, a twist on the traditional culinary event with a focus on the commonly used ground provision, dasheen. Low in sodium and gluten-free, the root crop will be the inspiration for twenty-five cooks who will create dynamic, tasty and healthy dishes. Now in its 17th year, the fair has developed a loyal following of locals and continues to intrigue and attract many foreigners interested in sampling the innovative entrees, inventive appetizers, creative desserts and robust liqueurs on sale. The event will feature live entertainment and the unique crayfish competition in the nearby Bloody Bay Main River.
- Tobago International Rugby Sevens Tournament, 5-6th DecemberThe island of Tobago looks forward to welcoming an impressive line-up of over 25 teams from around the world to compete in the Annual Tobago International Rugby 7s Tournament.Trinidad Hotspot for 2015 – Chaguaramas
Chaguaramas is transforming into a mini destination within Trinidad recognised through the vision of the Chaguaramas Development Authority. The newly developed region is perfectly located in the picturesque, north-western peninsula and offers a variety of activities for visitors including zip lining, fishing, hiking and a picturesque Heritage Park. The newly opened Chaguaramas Boardwalk is Trinidad’s newest beachfront hotspot offering attractions such as gazebo rentals, pedal boat rides, a number of restaurants and the amenities to host outdoor concerts, shows and events.
So that’s the whole of 2015 covered. I can only hope that I have time to make a trip!
Trinidad and Tobago offers travelers a unique opportunity to explore a rich history, a captivating culture and a biodiversity like no other. For further information you can visit www.gotrinidadandtobago.com