Over $5,000 in cash and prizes for Battle of the Rake and Scrape Bands winners
The Cat Island Rake-n-Scrape Festival is now 20 years old. This annual Bahamian musical festival, held during the Labour Day and Whit Monday holidays weekend, is the signature event for North Cat Island, stated spokesperson for the Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival Committee Kay Chriswell. “The signature event for this, our 20th annual Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival, will be the National Battle of the Rake and Scrape Bands. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes is being set aside to find out who is the best rake and scrape band in The Bahamas. Past winners have been Bo Hog and the Rooters, the Long Island Connection, as well as the reigning champions Ophie and the Websites.”
Chriswell continued, “The festival showcases the sensuous, rhythmic vibe of the Bahamian rake and scrape music, performed by local and national artists. It also features gospel music, battle of the rake and scrape bands, quadrille dancing, a children’s corner with games and many more activities for the first time and returning visitors.”
During last year’s 19th festival opening, the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Michael Pintard said, “My ministry is committed to collaborating with the Cat Island Rake-n-Scrape Festival Committee in ensuring that each year the product improves and enlarges the reach of Bahamian artists, artisans and chefs beyond the boundaries of Cat Island and The Bahamas.”
It is the committee’s hope that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture under the new Minister Lanisha Rolle will continue the ministry’s commitment in collaborating with the Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival Committee in ensuring that vision this year.
“It is our view that Cat Island is the rake and scrape capital of the world; the most significant rake and scrape artists should participate in this festival and emerging from the festival should be a new cadre of rake and scrape performers,” said Chriswell. “The sights, sounds and tastes of Cat Island will be on full display and packaged for sale: flour cakes, miniatures of Mt. Alvernia, salt packages, artwork of the blue holes and plantations, jams and jellies, fruits, soaps and candles manufactured on the island, baked Cat Island crabs and countless other delights.”
Chriswell continued, “It is a known fact that Cat Island produced cultural icons, pioneering educators, renowned pastors and a global actor such as Sir Sidney Poitier. Descendants of Cat Island should be proud of their heritage, brilliance and the indomitable spirit of people. The Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival provides the backdrop against which we can explore our heritage and eco-tourism, thereby increasing room inventory, occupancy, sea arrivals and airlift.”
The committee wants to thank Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar and Minister of Agriculture Michael Pintard for their continued support of The Bahamas’ indigenous music, rake and scrape, as the committee looks forward to a successful 20th Annual Cat Island Rake and Scrape Festival. The festival site opens on Thursday with gospel music all day and night. On Friday and Saturday, the stage comes alive with the national battle of the junior and senior rake and scrape bands, quadrille dancing contests, plus Mr. Anderson, Lady E, Lassido and the Boys, Novi, Elon Moxey, Puzzle, Jammin Rahming, Avvy and the Rake-n-Scrape General Stileet, all backed by the sensational sounds of Ira Storr and the Spank Band. On Sunday, all roads lead to Pompey Rock Beach for fun in the sun, with prizes and surprises sponsored by Aliv and Kalik. Western air has committed to providing morning and afternoon flights to accommodate as many persons as possible.
• For more information go to www.rakenscrape.org, follow the festival committee on Facebook and Instagram, or contact Kay Chriswell, secretary of the Rake-n-Scrape Festival Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.