Founded in 1987, its mandate is the preservation and celebration of Tobago’s folk traditions and culture. Each year there is a new theme.
The festival takes you from village to village each evening, with communities showcasing dance, drama, music, and culinary traditions. Events take place across the island in villages such as Plymouth and Moriah — storytelling, ancestral walks, long-time games, harvest traditions, historical re-enactments (like the ol’ time wedding, ‘washing the dead bed’, and ‘dancing the cocoa’). Help the fishermen ‘pull seine’ on the beach, and you may be rewarded with some fresh catch. There’s also pirogue racing, beach football and seafood breakfast on offer.
Signature presentations include: Signature presentations include:
- the Ole Time Tobago Wedding in Moriah, featuring groom in a stovepipe hat and tailcoat and bride with trousseau on the head, processing slowly with the distinctive three-step “brush back”
- Folk Tales & Superstitions in Golden Lane and Les Coteaux — learn about the Les Coteaux jumbie, and about Gang Gang Sara and the Witch’s Grave in Golden Lane
- the Plymouth Ole Time Carnival, featuring African stick-fighting and a cast of masquerade characters, Ju Ju warriors, Jab Jabs, and devils
- the Pembroke Salaka Feast, which also features African-derived sacred dances (like the reel, jig, and salaka) which are indigenous to the area.
Drag yuh bow, Mista Fiddla!