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Easter traditions standing strong

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Jockeys race behind their goats during the 93rd Annual Buccoo Goat & Crab Race Festival.

The 2018 editions of Tobago’s signature Easter festivals, the Mt Pleasant Sports and Family Day and the Buccoo Goat and Crab Festival, were both successfully staged.

On Easter Monday all roads led to Mt Pleasant for a day of family fun, which included goat racing, sprint races in various categories and the highly anticipated Easter Bonnet Parade.

Coordinator of the Mt Pleasant event, Jean Henry, said many people look forward to Easter Bonnet Parade, adding “it gets bigger every year.”

Other attractions included a large temporary play area which delighted children while their parents took in the races and socialised.

The following day the action moved to the Buccoo Integrated Facility for one of the island’s oldest festivals, the Buccoo Goat and Crab Race Festival.

The event attracted several dignitaries, including Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles.

Following the previous day’s warm-up at Mt Pleasant, the “mini steeds” (goats) and their jockeys faced off for major cash prizes on the Buccoo grounds.

Vendors, selling everything from food and drinks to crafts, were inside and outside the venue.

People who did not want to foot the $50 entrance fee to the festival stood on the streets, but took the opportunity to win cash through unofficial betting.

Speaking about the event, Buccoo Village Council PRO Winston Pereira said although the council had challenges things were done smoothly as they “weathered the storm.”

“Tobagonians love the goat race and they look forward to coming out to the event every the celebration of the 93rd year should be no different,” he said. The Buccoo Goat and Crab Race Festival also provided an opportunity for patrons to sample local cuisine such as crab and dumplings, conch, smoked fish and local fruit chows.