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Tobago Heritage Festival bigger this year
As the Tobago Heritage Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, organisers of the festival are looking for ways to further preserve Tobago’s rich history. Glenda Rose Layne, co-ordinator for culture in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and a member of the festival commission, said they have been doing audio archiving and a lot of research towards documenting the island’s heritage.
“What we need to look at is to really put it in a format like a heritage series, or something like that,” she said. She said the festival encouraged cultural, education and research tourism, with schools from Trinidad and abroad sending students to see the festival first-hand. The Tobago Heritage Festival opened last night with a gala ceremony, of which masman Brian McFarlane was the artistic director.
Rose Layne said while the festival has always attracted wide support in Tobago, particularly among young people, they expected greater participation this year, since a new village, Parlatuvier, has been included. “It is so strange...The rule of festivals says that after five years festivals wane and die out,” she said.
“For a festival like the Heritage Festival to continue for 25 years and still go strong, it means the people really understand why they have to protect the festival. They recognise the importance of the festival.” Among the highlights this year will be the traditional wedding procession; a drum festival on July 31, featuring a master drummer from the US and Tivoli drummers from Grenada; a freedom walk and a concert featuring Ella Andall, Black Stalin and Brother Resistance on August 1; and a two-day old-time Carnival in Plymouth with guest performer Tobago Crusoe, who will be returning especially for the activities. The festival ends on August 2.
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