Sunday, Jul 15, 2018
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Road Ready | ‘One mas’ for Bahamas carnival

Participants in the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. FILE

Yesterday marked 22 days until Bahamas carnival and, from my interactions with folks coming in to party with us fellow Bahamians, there appears to be a lot of hype surrounding this year’s carnival.

Even better is the social media advertising that promises that May 4–6 there will be a line-up of artists the likes of whom we have seen the previous three years of Bahamas carnival. On the flyer prominently featured are Machel Montano, Destra Garcia and Skinny Fabulous. It also includes our local favorites Dyson and Wendy, D-Mac and Rik Carey, among others.

What I do know is that the concert will likely not be in the places we remember past concerts being held and that the prices are not likely to be the rock-bottom ones we enjoyed over the past three years.

These are indeed signs that the private sector has taken the reins on Bahamas carnival, and that could be a very good thing. Indeed it is a good thing for the public purse. But is not a good thing, yet, for the revelers who are expecting a masterful experience on the road. This is because the carnival bands still seem to be disbanded, and the future of the road experience seems to be a bit blurry at the moment.

While carnival-goers are used to a route that leaves the national stadium, moving toward the highway, turning onto Baillou Hill Road and heading toward Poinciana Drive, then onto Nassau Street, and finally turning left onto Bay Street to complete the march, this has yet to be set in stone and advertised for all to know.

The private sector has been calling for its chance to run Bahamas carnival since the first days of the event, but now, given the opportunity wholesale, it has been largely silent and disorganized.

This is the golden opportunity of a lifetime for it to do what it has said it would do. And now it only has one month left to do it.

Alas, this is not surprising. This is the culture of our people — loud to the last minute, with paltry ideas and execution and large egos that do not let them see past their errors.

I hope to see them come together. I want to see ‘one mas’, not one band — camaraderie above cult, and a shift in the culture of tribalism and egoism. Let’s get together!

 

 

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