Bahamas turns on charm at Wisconsin annual Holiday Folk Fair
In true Bahamian style, a rake ‘n’ scrape delegation lit up the stage with its colorful renditions at this year’s Holiday Folk Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin, on November 19.
The international festival, which is held annually over a five-day span at the Exposition Center of Wisconsin State Fair Park, is home to the largest indoor multicultural festival in the United States.
The 10-member group, comprised of six members from Cat Island and four from Grand Bahama, flew in from The Bahamas on Wednesday and tantalized festival goers with just a taste of what the small island chain has to offer. Despite the chilly weather, the group warmed up the indoors with its melodic flavor and was featured in the FOX 6 News entertainment segment.
Group leader Cleophas Webb, of Grand Bahama, explained that the distinctive sound is a fusion of African and European cultures.
Ginger Moxey, president and CEO of Immerse Bahamas, founder and president of non-profit organization 700 Partners, and Bahamas representative for the International Council of Organization of Folklore Festival and Folk Arts (CIOFF), said she is grateful for the invitation extended by the International Institute of Milwaukee.
“It’s been an amazing experience. We’re excited to be here to show the rest of the world what The Bahamas has to offer when it comes to its music, its people and its culture,” Moxey said during the event.
The international folk fair is a celebration of cultures from around the world and offers thousands of visitors a variety of delectable foods, entertainment and cultural displays unique to each country. As for the Bahamian band’s exposure, the rake ‘n’ scrape group would put on more than a dozen performances by the time the cultural exhibition wrapped up. The Bahamas delegation is grateful to its many sponsors, including Cat Island Member of Parliament Philip Brave Davis, the International Institute of Milwaukee, Investment Facilitating & Financing, Ltd., the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited and Immerse Bahamas Co. Ltd. for making it all possible.