NCC starts planning for ‘full-fledged’ Carnival 2023

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FILE PHOTO: Members of The Lost Tribe cross the Queen’s Park Savannah stage on Carnival Tuesday, February 25, 2020. –

The National Carnival Commission (NCC) has signalled to the world that Carnival 2023 is in the works, after posting a photo teasing the full return of celebrations.

A photo featuring the text ‘The Road to Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2023’ was uploaded as a cover photo to the NCC’s Facebook page on Friday afternoon.

The photo stirred excitement as it was shared over 100 times with social media users noting their anticipation in the comments section.

On January 19, the government announced its approval for Carnival-type events to be held at approved venues for the vaccinated, titled a Taste of Carnival.

While public health regulations remained in effect at these venues, they were well attended as patrons packed the stands and pods.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced that there would be an easing of covid19 restrictions to begin preparation for a transition of the pandemic entering an endemic phase.

FILE PHOTO: Wee Mas Interntional masqueraders cross the stage at South Quay, Port of Spain on Carnival Tuesday, February 25, 2020. –

Last Tuesday Tribe Carnival opened a pop-up registration for their costumes next year which was sold out within hours.

Contacted for comment NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said he understood the demand for pre-pandemic style Carnival celebrations was higher than ever and planning for such events were underway.

He said the decreasing numbers of covid19 cases and easing of public health restrictions reignited hopes that full celebrations on the road were possible next year.

“As of now we are planning for Carnival 2023 and I like the trajectory of the pandemic, it is subsiding all over the world and we are no different.

“As of now what we are looking for a full-fledged Trinidad Carnival the way we know it.”

Asked if he felt if planning for next year’s Carnival would be too soon, Peters said it was necessary for the NCC to have enough time to organise events while monitoring developments in the covid19 pandemic.

“We know that Carnival 2023 is going to come. If something untoward happens along the way then we will modify whatever we are doing but we can’t just sit down and not plan for Carnival 2023, so we always have to keep planning.

“We are the National Carnival Commission we exist for nothing more than Carnival. We exist to plan for and execute Carnival.”

He added that the NCC was still discussing arrangements for Tobago Carnival in October with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and was optimistic this would also be a success.

Newsday also contacted Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell who said there was cautious optimism among stakeholders that Carnival would return next year.

He said barring an announcement from the government, it was natural for stakeholders to begin preparations for the following year’s events but warned that these plans were subject to change depending on the number of infections.

“On Ash Wednesday on any given year and post the Carnival season begins the road to Carnival of the subsequent year, so we are presently on that road.

“It is not to say that road may not be fraught with obstacles because while we are encouraged by the numbers of hospitalisations and deaths trending downwards.

FILE PHOTO: Members of Paparazzi crosse the Queen’s Park Savannah stage, Port of Spain on Carnival Tuesday, February 25, 2020. –

“While we are encouraged by a number of other jurisdictions worldwide now treating the pandemic as endemic we are still weary there may be other circumstances or factors to suddenly arise as unforeseeable as they might be to cause further restrictions however we are hopeful that will not be the case.”

For his part president of the TT Promoters’ Association (TTPA) Jerome ‘Rome’ Precilla said promoters were optimistic as they have already begun scheduling dates for events next year.

He said the return of pre-pandemic style activities would not only be welcomed by revellers but also creatives in the industry whose livelihoods were affected for over two years.

“You will see people are already starting to book their plane tickets and hotels to come down.

“The people are excited, the promoters are excited, the mas creators are excited and people in our industry are abuzz because people have not been working two years now they are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We have our fingers crossed, our knees to the ground praying that nothing changes, there’s no new deadly variant comes around and that we can really have this show.

“The promoters have already started planning for Carnival 2023 so in light of what is taking place worldwide and with restrictions being lifted around the world and right here in TT we’re not going to let Carnival catch us unprepared this time around so we have already started putting things in place a few of the promoters have already mentioned dates for their fetes next year.”

Precilla said the association continued to monitor the developments in the pandemic and hold discussions with the government.