Published on : Friday, August 1, 2014
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Full-scale Junkanoo costumes, choreographed dancing and music sections fascinated thousands of spectators who flocked to downtown Nassau for the Junkanoo Summer Festival held during the weekends in July 2014.
The various groups participating in the country’s main cultural expression conjured up images of the annual Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo parades – following which of course winners are announced.
On Saturday the 26, an awards ceremony was held during which the Minister of Tourism the Hon Obie Wilchcombe presented awards to the Junkanoo, corporate and marching band participants.
A concert followed featuring the best in local entertainment by Basil, Puzzle, Veronica Bishop, Funky D, Spider, Q-Pid, Dyson Night and Nita, backed by the Sky Juice Band.
The A Junkanoo Groups included: Roots, under the theme referring to the Ministry of Tourism as ‘Partners: Then, Now and Always”. The Valley Boys paid tribute to its former leader the late Winston “Gus” Cooper; One Family’s theme was “Dancing to the Beat, while the Prodigal Sons, the Saxons Superstars and the Music Makers, portrayed the theme, “Tourism is Everybody’s Business”.
The B Junkanoo Groups which participated are: Colours, Body of Christ, Conquers for Christ, Redland Soldiers and the Original Congos – all portraying themes based on the tourism anniversary celebration.
Atlantis won the award for Best Corporate Group and Best Corporate Banner; the Straw Market Authority won Best Float.
Colours emerged the winner in the B Group category. The Saxons won Best Banner and Best Music categories. One Family won Best Choreograph Dancing and Best Overall Group performance.
According to Minister Wilchcombe, the ministry is seeking to create more avenues whereby Junkanoo can be displayed and enjoyed by locals and tourists alike; based on feedback from the July festival.
“We need to have much more. We need to have many more activities particularly on the weekend. We’ve seen the tourists flock in and many more people want to see Junkanoo. They hear about it. They’ve talked about it, they’ve voted on it and the truth is they don’t get to see it,” he said.
Chris Justilien, leader of Colours Entertainers Junkanoo Organisation said the group was excited and pleased to have been asked by the Ministry of Tourism to participate in the summer festival.
“It was a very exciting time coming on the street and displaying our talents and what we do all year round for Bahamians and foreigners.
“It was a lot of fun; although there was the pressure of coming out first we managed to get the group out on time,” he said.
Mr. Justilien said the group saw it as another opportunity to showcase the country’s popular cultural activities to the public.
“Kudos to the Ministry of Tourism for supporting this activity during the month of July,” he said.
Tags: Ministry of Tourism