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Arts & Culture : Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

Grand Bahama makes its mark in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival
By Immerse Bahamas
May 11, 2015 - 5:40:03 PM

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Nassau, New Providence – A Grand Bahama contingent, over 250- strong, did its island proud in the historic inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival which spanned over a three-day period in New Providence.

The Bahamas rolled out the red carpet for its residents and visitors May 7-9 to show off its unique culture, called Junkanoo, warm hospitality, arts and crafts and signature dishes.

The impressive display was staged at Arawak Cay, which was transformed into ‘Da Cultural Village,’ and Clifford Park, which were also the backdrops of the hottest evening entertainment where Bahamians, legends and newcomers, shared the spotlight with international artists from Trinidad, Colombia and Haiti.

Thousands flocked to the site over the three days, each witnessing a larger crowd than the previous one and the fusion of different cultures, ethnicities and taste buds.

The celebration of community and culture took the form of a JunkaMania with a concert of Junkanoo orchestras fused with the beat of the drum and Bahamian music on the first night and a Junkanoo rush out that lasted well into the wee morning hours.

The star-studded event moved into Day 2 with the best in Bahamian music, including the performance of the nine finalists in the Music Masters Song Competition and the crowning moment when Sammi Starr was dubbed the winner of the $20,000 grand prize.


Before the Finale Concert that night, Junkanooers and enthusiasts swung out of the gate of the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium on Day 3 in an impressive array of colors and pulsating and alluring music Saturday morning for Road Fever, which ended hours later at Da Cultural Village.

Spectators lined the route to bask in the sea of colors, while others, young and old, who found it difficult to contain themselves, jumped in the line after catching Junkanoo fever.

The festivities climaxed with another big night of entertainment, including the soothing sounds of the legendary Ronnie Butler and Grand Bahama’s own Stileet, Da Party Animal.

Clarence Moe, the former CEO of the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago, who has served as a consultant to the Bahamas National Festival Commission since 2013, said overall the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was “extremely successful.”

“When we say success, I measure it by the number of persons attending and more importantly the involvement of the Bahamians. …But overall it’s successful,” Moe said.

Moe, who headed the Trinidad and Tobago commission for over 15 years, was impressed with how Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has materialized with the kick-off events Grand Bahama weeks earlier to the non-stop three-day cultural extravaganza in New Providence, after starting off as an idea two years ago.

Cognizant that there are some lessons that were learned, Moe is confident that with the right tweaking the new Bahamian cultural street festival can sustain itself for years to come.

“We’re on our way and I predict, by 2018, I think you will have it very right,” he said.


Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Grand Bahama event organizer Ginger Moxey is proud of the community spirit which The Grand Life team portrayed which, she believes was the backbone of Grand Bahama’s success in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival – from the Music Masters contestants, to the kick-off events, the entertainers, Junkanooers, volunteers to corporate Grand Bahama.

“Grand Bahama pulled it off in a big way and we are ready for next year,” she said.

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