Nikkiland brings carnival Joy to kids in Trinidad

Nikkiland featured face-painting activities this year. Photo: Nikkiland

Families from across Trinidad and Tobago flocked to Skallywag Bay in Chaguanas last Saturday afternoon for the 12th edition of Nikkiland, which is an event that caters to the party needs of children.

The annual carnival event is hosted by comedienne, actress, musician, radio personality and philanthropist Nikki Crosby and features various concession stands, kids’ entertainment and special guest performances from popular artistes on the soca scene.

“I’ve always tried to find ways to give kids the space to have fun without it being a very grown-up experience.”

— Nikki Crosby, the organiser of Nikkiland

After taking a hiatus in 2019 due to severe financial and sponsorship constraints, Crosby was humbled by the overwhelming response to the return of her kids’ all-inclusive experience this year.

Suitable for kids

Destra Garcia sang some of her career hits for hundreds of patrons at Nikkiland 2020. Photo: Nikkiland

She told BUZZ that she has always had a love and passion for the youth in her country, and the very adult nature of carnival made her think about the influence it was having on younger minds. Soon enough, she began to brainstorm ways of bringing to life an entertainment platform more suitable for kids.

“I’ve hosted many children’s events throughout my career, and I’ve always tried to find ways to give kids the space to have fun without it being a very grown-up experience. Nikkiland became my concept for children to have a clean carnival,” she said,

An assortment of bouncy castles at the Nikkiland venue at Skallywag Bay in Chaguanas. Photo: Nikkiland

All-inclusive experience

It’s no surprise, therefore, that the annual affair would bring together the most attractive elements for children.

“Everything about the event is child-like. From the entertainers who are aware of how to perform for children, to the face-painting stations and bouncy castles – it’s all about the little ones for our team and our generous sponsors. We as adults get to attend all-inclusive parties throughout the carnival season, and I wanted the kids to have their own version of an all-inclusive experience as well,” she explained.

Founder of Nikkiland, Nikki Crosby, said she wanted the experience to be ‘child-like, clean fun’ for families during carnival. Photo: Nikkiland

This year, Crosby estimates that close to 1,500 children and parents were in attendance at Nikkiland in Central Trinidad, which she confirmed was a slightly smaller crowd from previous years. Nevertheless, she is thrilled by the execution and end result of the event and is particularly pleased that several children from various homes across Trinidad and Tobago were able to attend on invitation.

“This year we hosted kids from Cascade School For The Deaf, St Mary’s Children’s Home and St Jude’s Home for Girls,” she said. “It’s always a team effort and an absolute joy to host everyone.”

Children of all ages and their parents at Nikkiland 2020 were treated to delightful performances by the Queen of Bacchanal Destra Garcia, Viking Ding Dong, Jadel, as well as social media and radio personality Ro’Dey The Entertainer.

Tenille Clarke is an avid wanderlust, Carnivalist and cultural enthusiast who pens about her ongoing love affair with travel, culture and entertainment through a Caribbean lens. She is the Principal Publicist of Chambers Media Solutions and Managing Director of Industry 360. (@tenilleclarke1 on Instagram/Twitter)