Goat Races? Crab Races? Huh? Only In Tobago!

Every Easter weekend in the village of Buccoo in Tobago a very unique and rib tickling festival takes place. In this festival the people get together and pretend to be owners of pedigree goats and crabs and participate in one of the Wackiest sporting event that you will remember for years to come – the famous Tobago Goat and Crab races.

The Easter holiday weekend that comprises of Good Friday, Glorious Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday fattens the pockets of the entrepreneurs in easy going Tobago with many Trinidadians travelling to the sister island to enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters of Tobago. Some crab and dumplings are a must for everyone visiting the island but on this weekend maybe you can have the opportunity to race your crab then enjoy ‘your horse’ with some glorious dumplings.  The Easter weekend tradition of Goat and crab racing started more than seventy five years ago and has imitated the pageantry of the horse racing that is so popular in Trinidad. The jockeys for these goats run behind the goats that are dressed in colors that stand out. The Goats are also given names that are simply an extension of the jockey’s ego.  If you are a betting person then make sure your jockey is healthy and can run with the goat because a fast goat with a slow jockey will not result in success. 

The Crab races are comedy in action with the crabs running in all directions. Most of the time the crabs are lifted with the strings attached and coaxed with a tug to go in the direction of the finish line. It is total chaos when the races start with people on the sideline crouching and whipping their behinds as if they are riding a horse. Others are screaming and running down the lines put to keep the visitors out of the ‘race track’ all the way to the finish line. It is total fun, a belly hurt, a rib tickler that one should be prepared to experience. The highlight is Easter Tuesday when Buccoo comes alive with the Goats and Crabs the main focus for the curious onlookers. Food and drinks will be on sale and everyone does well. I love my goat roti and crab and dumplings but watching the races is just as much fun.

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