Craft vendors make ready for Junkanoo Summer Festival
While the Junkanoo groups put on a colorful cultural performance, more than 20 craft vendors will be displaying authentically Bahamian goods ranging from straw, coconut, seashells, woodcarving, aromatherapy and spa products, Junkanoo drums and whistles at Arawak Cay as the annual Junkanoo Summer Festival (JSF) kicks off this weekend.
Dereka Moultrie, coordinator in the Ministry of Tourism’s Authentically Bahamian Department said vendors will move from Pompey Square on July 1, 15, and 22 to be an added feature at the much-anticipated festival.
“Junkanoo Summer Festival promises to be an exciting event this year. One of the noted features is the Authentically Bahamian Craft Village, which will give patrons of the event the opportunity to leave with an authentically Bahamian craft souvenir and Junkanoo paraphernalia,” said Moultrie.
“It is very successful because it gives the vendors a chance to spread their entrepreneurial wings. They are able to reach a larger and more diverse market. It’s a different market place and a different atmosphere where they get to communicate with not only our visitors, but many Bahamians as well who may not get to see them in Pompey Square,” she said.
Christine Davis specializes in sea glass jewelry and has been a part of the Authentically Bahamian Craft program at the Ministry of Tourism for eight years.
She makes practically anything that can be made with sea glass — necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and anklets — jewelry that she said everyone loves because it is a unique way of seeing something that they can recycle.
Betty Turnquest of BA Enterprises has been doing straw craft for 40 years.
She spoke about the benefits of being a vendor of Junkanoo Summer Festival.
“It’s very organized … you have more of a crowd at the festival and the potential to make more money is there because you have more people passing through. I look forward to it every year, and this year I’m looking forward to making more money than I did last year,” said Turnquest.
Junkanoo Summer Festival is a signature event of the Ministry of Tourism, and an exhilarating competition between the A and B category groups of Junkanoo.
The festival, that runs from 4 p.m. to midnight, includes daytime games, over 30 food vendors, and military performances.