Like almost everything else, Tobago’s legendary Buccoo events have been hard hit it by the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest to scheduled event to feel be hit is the Sunday School lime.
Quite opposite in meaning to the conventional concept of “Sunday School,” the event is not religion-based.
Unique to Tobago, it is a street party of sorts. Sometimes, it is the only event happening in Tobago on a Sunday night and the last port of call for weekend limers.
Many Trinidadians made a habit of going to the event on Sunday night, partying until the wee hours of the morning, then heading to the ferry to travel back to Trinidad.
The event recently celebrated its 30th anniversary but patrons could not celebrate in the space because of the pandemic’s Public Health Ordinance rules and regulations related to public gatherings.
According to manager of the Buccooneers Steel Orchestra Mervin Solomon, the organisers of the event are now looking at ways to revamp it.
He said they plan to include more cultural performances and provide a bigger platform for local craftsmen and service providers.
“Apart from the bar sales craftsmen from all over the island, food vendors and a lot of local performers, (vendors) who sold items at the event would have lost earnings when the pandemic hit,” Solomon told Tobago Today.
He said the restructuring includes catering for a different crowd, as the event’s usual patronisers—retirees; are not expected to return.
“Post-pandemic, we may see the dynamics of the crowd change. I think less mature people would attend, so we have to find a way to remind people that Buccoo is still the place to be but always with safety in mind,” he said.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Buccoo Village Council Winston Pereira said he too would like to see the Sunday event and others in the village change. He said they should become “more organised to generate revenue and become a platform for culture.”
Buccoo is known for fishing and tourism, he said and before the pandemic, the village council was discussing ways to combine various aspects of the Buccoo experience as a tourism offering, called the “Buccoo Passport.”
“Buccoo is a major pillar in the whole Tobago tourism product. Buccoo is known for two flagship events, the Easter Goat Races and the Sunday School and these events are organic to Tobago,” Pereira said.
The PRO said the Buccoo Passport concept is a way to further develop the Buccoo brand.