The most anticipated event of the season
It’s summer – and one of the season’s most anticipated festivals kicks off for a month of frivolity, Bahamian style.
Junkanoo Summer Festival (JSF) is “in the air” and Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) officials are feverishly preparing Arawak Cay for the major signature event that will be held every Saturday from July 20-August 10.
As in previous years, JSF will incorporate all aspects of Bahamian culture – musical performances, food, heritage games, a kiddie corner, authentic Bahamian arts and craft and, of course, Junkanoo rush outs.
The event kicks off each Saturday at 1 p.m.
This year, the Family Islands will be celebrated under the theme “The Islands Of The Bahamas: More than sun, sand and sea” – and each week the culture of different Islands of The Bahamas will be displayed.
Week one will feature the cultures of Long Island, Exuma and MICAL; Cat Island, MICAL and San Salvador are on the agenda for week two; Andros and Eleuthera in week three; culminating with the Berry Islands, Abaco and Bimini in week four.
Over the course of the four weeks, performances will be had from Shadow Band, Sweet Emily, Synergy Band, All for One Band, Blue Connections Band, Sky Juice Band, Grove Quest Band, Nehemiah Hield, Fanshawn, Lady E, Patrick Carey, Gaiwin Clarke, Q-Pid, Rhythm and Youth Band, the Royal Bahamas Police Force band, K.B., Geno D. and Keisha Poitier.
Junkanoo performances will include Fancy Dancers, Music Makers, Roots, One Family, Colours, The Original Congos, Valley Boys, Saxons, Body of Christ and Conquerors For Christ.
Charity Armbrister, MOTA director of events, said hosting JSF is important to celebrate as well as to retain Bahamian culture, which visitors are invited to experience with locals.
Tourists are often shuttled to Arawak Cay from various properties on New Providence and Paradise Island via complimentary transportation provided by MOTA.
“We try to facilitate our visitors to ensure that they have an opportunity to come mix, mingle and enjoy our culture and spend more money with us,” said Armbrister.
Major sponsors of this year’s JSF include Rev, 700 Islands, the Guardian Group of Companies and Kalik.