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Please be advised that the ttconnect St. James Service Centre would be closed at 12:30 pm on Friday 22nd August 2014. Regular business hours would resume on Saturday 23rd August 2014. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

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Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day

Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from Great Britain on August 31st, 1962.  At midnight on 30th August, 1962, the Union Jack (British flag) was lowered and the Trinidad and Tobago flag was raised for the first time. Bells tolled and sirens rang out to herald the birth of the newly independent nation. This first Independence Day was marked by more than a week of festivities and events across the country from August 28 to September 05, 1962. Several international dignitaries were present for this auspicious occasion including the Queen’s representative, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal who read the message sent by Queen Elizabeth II, relinquishing her rule.

Today, Independence Day is celebrated with military-style parades held at the Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain and in Scarborough, Tobago. In Trinidad, the parade is inspected by the Head of State who, from 1962-1976, was the Governor General (i.e. the Queen's representative in Trinidad and Tobago). When Trinidad and Tobago achieved its status as a Republic in 1976, the President then assumed this role. The Chief Secretary, who is the leader of the Tobago House of Assembly, heads the Tobago parade. After the official activities at the parade grounds, the contingents march through the streets to the accompaniment of live music played by the bands of the various forces (e.g. Police, Fire and Prison bands).  Cheering spectators line the parade route creating a ‘Carnival’-like atmosphere.

The evening is usually marked by the presentation of National Awards in a ceremony held at the President's House. These awards, which were first presented in 1969, honour the outstanding achievements of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago in various fields.

Finally, this day of celebration comes to a close with fireworks displays at the Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain and the Port Authority Compound, Scarborough Tobago. Thousands of people gather from early in the evening to get a strategic vantage point to view these shows.

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Events and Holidays

August

August
01/08 Emancipation Day
August Santa Rosa Carib Festival
31/08 Independence Day
Jul 17th to Aug 1st Tobago Heritage Festival

September

September
September Tobago Fest
24/09 Republic Day
September - December Parang Festival

View more

View official GoRTT Events Calendar

View official public holidays list

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