Queen's Park Savannah
Queen's Park Savannah is the world's oldest recreational area in the West Indies. It is situated in Port of Spain, Trinidad and is commonly known as Savannah.
This area covers 260 acres of land and is considered to be the world's largest traffic roundabout with a perimeter of approximately 2.2 miles.
The Savannah (then known as Paradise Estate) was bought by the city council from the Peschier family on 18 August 1817. A small area of land in the centre of the Savannah was not included in the sale. This was kept by the family to be used as the Peschier cemetery.
Originally, the Savannah was used as a cattle pasture, but in 1828, horse racing became a recreational activity. By the middle of the 19th century the Savannah had become more established as a park and venue for horse racing, cricket, football and rugby.
At a meeting held by the Council of Government on 18th August 1845, it was suggested that the Savannah should be given an English name because of its colonial status. The name “Queens’s Park" agreed to, hence Queen's Park Savannah.
The South of the Savannah is the setting of the Grand Stand which was constructed in 1854. Although the area was previously used for sporting activities it is now the locality for other cultural events most notably the Carnival. The finals of the Panorama steelpan competition is held here annually on the Saturday evening before Carnival Monday. A North Stand is constructed for Panorama only.
To many, the Savannah is known as the Big Yard or the panyard of all panyards. It is regarded as the Mecca for all steelpan competitions throughout the world. For the many thousands of pannists or panmen who get the opportunity to perform here, it gives them as well as their arrangers a chance to display their musical brilliance and steelpan innovation.