40th Anniversary of Island Roots Heritage Festival
By Dawn Demeritte, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation
Apr 10, 2018 - 8:15:39 AM
Abaco, Bahamas - Festival time is here again for residents of Green Turtle Cay, Abaco as they prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Island Roots Heritage Festival May 4 - 6.
Under the theme, “Green Turtle Cay: Beautiful, Bountiful and Blessed,” the three-day festival is a much-anticipated event that celebrates the shared Loyalist heritage of the residents of Green Turtle Cay and its sister settlement, Key West, Florida.
Wynsome Ferguson, Manager of the Abaco Tourist Office, said the festival is an economic boost for the Green Turtle Cay community.
“It’s huge for Green Turtle Cay, in the sense that all of the rental homes, hotels and golf carts are booked. It filters business onto the mainland of Treasure Cay and even as far as Marsh Harbour. It’s a huge economic boost, not only internationally but also domestically and with Bahamasair having resumed service to Treasure Cay’s airport, it’s a huge boost for us,” she said.
Attendees of the festival can expect an exciting history and conservation lesson involving Junkanoo, Kalik beer and conch salad. The festival is an immersion crash course in Bahamian culture with activities, such as conch-cleaning and conch horn-blowing
Vibrant live musical performances will fill the air at the festival grounds, starting at noon with a show stopping number by the talented Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, the award-winning drumming group – Every Child Counts, the Sax Man, the New Entry Band featuring Bodine and, of course, our famous cultural experience – Junkanoo.
Kids will not be left out in this celebration of Bahamian history and culture, as there will be plaiting of the maypole, the lime and spoon race and other fun-filled activities.
A special feature of this festival involves genealogy testing at the family heritage research centre. Bahamian genealogists will be on site to help you trace your island roots.
In addition to the exciting lineup of cultural and entertainment activities, there will be a series of educational talks related to island history, ancestry, genealogy and ecology at a hall adjacent to the festival site. Peter Roberts of the Bahamas DNA Project, Timothy Roberts from the Abaconian, author and meteorologist, Wayne Neely and author Amanda Diedrick are a few of the speakers confirmed for the speaking series.
Annabelle Cross, Co-Chair of the Island Heritage Roots Festival organizing committee, said the festival offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
“Visitors to Green Turtle Cay will find a historic, working community rather than a tourist resort. It offers our visitors an opportunity to look beyond the sun, sand and sea to interact with people, appreciate our history, rich culture and enjoy all that our community offers,” she said.
The festival will run from 11:00 a.m. to midnight and the admission fee for adults is $4 and children under 12 is $2.
For more information, visit https://islandrootsheritagefestival.com/.
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