Colin Lucas, Chief Executive Officer of the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago (NCC).

The carnival community is excited and looks forward to the celebrations with no COVID-19 restrictions in 2023.

On Friday, a photo featuring the text “The Road to T&T Carnival 2023” was uploaded as a cover photo on the National Carnival Commission (NCC’s) Facebook page.

This year saw a return to some carnival activities under the Safe Zone initiatives which the Government referred to as a “Taste of Carnival.”

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh informed the country that it is moving from the pandemic stage to the endemic stage where people should take personal responsibility for their actions rather than the Government mandating how citizens should cope with the pandemic.

NCC CEO Colin Lucas told the Sunday Guardian that they are still not sure what the size of next year’s Carnival will be, but they remain hopeful that it will be bigger than 2022.

“The size will be informed by the trajectory of the COVID pandemic. We don’t know what will happen over the next 12 months. This pandemic has thrown us some curves a few times, where we thought we were out of it and we went back into it. While we are optimistic about a carnival at a grander level, we are cautiously optimistic.”

He also said that Carnival 2022 was a success and they look forward to building upon that in the future.

He added that the world will never go back to the pre-pandemic way of doing things and although the next Carnival event will be much bigger, fans should expect a new format for activities.

“Post-pandemic Carnival will be different, but it may be better.”

Reacting to NCC’s teaser of a full-fledged Carnival in 2023, stakeholders expressed hope that they could return to making money and entertaining the country.

Pan Trinbago President Beverley Ramsey-Moore said that her organisation was prepared for a full return to Carnival activities next year.

“We’re ready for Carnival 2023 as long as it is on. Coming out of the ‘Taste of Carnival’ where our bands were prepared in a short space of time, we were able to execute two excellent shows. We’re ready and can’t wait.”

She described the recently concluded Carnival activities as a success and said they intend to use it as a springboard for next year’s carnival event.

President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Association (TUCO) Ainsley King is relieved that next year will most likely see a return to full-fledged Carnival activities.

King said in the same way businesses closed down over the last two years and many were unemployed, it is the same thing that happened to calypsonians.

He lamented that calypsonians were “severely affected” over the past two years and called the situation “depressing”.

“The people I represent, this is how they live. Once Carnival reopens it means an opportunity to go back to work.”

He added that the recently held “Taste of Carnival” events were better than nothing and it gives them hope that next year will see a return to normal.