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HomeLifestylesPulseBeauty, bounty and blessings of Green Turtle Cay to be celebrated at 13th Island Roots Heritage Festival

Beauty, bounty and blessings of Green Turtle Cay to be celebrated at 13th Island Roots Heritage Festival

Bahamians and visitors will descend upon Green Turtle Cay’s Settlement Point next month for the three-day Island Roots Heritage Festival.

A diverse range of entertainment is scheduled, including performances by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band and Pop Band, New Entry Band, Bodine, Sax Man, Island Spice, school groups and a Junkanoo rushout by the Green Turtle Cay Slammers, for the 13th festival to be held May 4–6.

“Our theme this year is Green Turtle Cay: Beautiful, Bountiful and Blessed,” said Annabelle Cross, festival committee chairperson. “And though we invite all to attend, we’d like to extend a special invitation to all those with roots in Green Turtle Cay. This year’s festival offers them a great chance to visit the cay, learn about their ancestors, research their roots and maybe even get to know family members they’ve never met.”

Founded in 1977, the Cacique Award-winning event celebrates Bahamian history, culture and cuisine, as well as the shared Loyalist heritage of New Plymouth and Key West.

A variety of Bahamian artists, artisans and crafters will showcase and sell their creations. Pat/Dot/Com (a partnership between designers Pat Daxon and Dot Miller) will present a fashion show featuring creative Androsia print and straw outfits, straw bags and straw shoes.

Adjacent to Heritage Park, in the air-conditioned Catechist George W. Reckley Hall, a series of speakers, including meteorologist and author Wayne Neely, author and historian Amanda Diedrick, Abaconian journalist Timothy Roberts, Bahamas DNA Project administrator Peter J. Roberts and a representative from the Bahamas National Trust will present informative talks related to Green Turtle Cay’s history, culture, ancestry and environment. At the Gospel Chapel Hall, Bahamian genealogists will be on hand to help festival-goers trace their Abaco roots.

Throughout the weekend, there will be demonstrations of long-standing Bahamian traditions, such as plaiting the maypole and the lime-and-spoon race, as well as kid-friendly games and activities.

On Sunday morning residents and visitors are encouraged to come together at an inter-denominational church service to give thanks for another wonderful opportunity to celebrate together.

One of Abaco’s biggest annual events, the organizing committee advises those people planning to attend the festival to book travel and accommodations as soon as possible.

“The Island Roots Heritage Festival is a huge economic boost to Green Turtle Cay. All hotels, rental homes and golf carts are booked over this three-day event, with the overflow going to Treasure Cay on the mainland,” said Wynsome Ferguson, manager of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Abaco Tourist Office.

Ferguson said the reinstatement of Bahamasair’s New Providence to Treasure Cay flights will make getting to this year’s festival even more convenient for people wanting to attend.

Daily admission to the Island Roots Heritage Festival is $4 for adults and $2 for children. To accommodate festival goers, the Green Turtle Cay Ferry will offer extended service on Friday and Saturday nights. For full 2018 festival details as well as a daily schedule, visit


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