Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg said yesterday that his ministry spent over $2 million on upcoming Junkanoo parades.
“The ministry has expended over $2 million in resources this year to ensure the effective delivery of Junkanoo parades around the Commonwealth of The Bahamas,” he said during a press conference.
Declaring a theme of unity, as the country prepares to celebrate its 50th year of independence, Bowleg also highlighted the value of Family Islands.
“I encourage everyone in The Bahamas to participate and/or support their favorite group and all the groups at the various Junkanoo parades,” he said.
“I especially encourage all Family Islanders to give as much assistance and support as possible to our family island parades.
“The first parade that will be held is in Eleuthera on Christmas Day and it is expected to be a very exciting return to the streets of Gregory Town.
“Five groups will be vying for the top spot on the Eleuthera Junkanoo podium, and they want you to know that Junkanoo is back, bigger and better in the pineapple city.”
He noted that in the new year, Junkanoo parades will be held on Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Cat Island and Exuma, in addition to Junior Junkanoo parades which will be held throughout the new year.
“Junior Junkanoo in New Providence is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, and later in the year, we look forward to Junior Junkanoo in Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Andros and Exuma,” said Bowleg.
The minister also noted that 22 Junkanoo legend inductees will be honored on Friday, December 16, for their “passion and love for the respective groups and for the individual contributions to the development of Junkanoo in The Bahamas”.
“The spirit of Junkanoo will forever be in the hearts of Bahamian people,” said Bowleg.
“This is our strong and colorful, time-honored and treasured heritage. The sound of the drum, the vibrant colors of the costumes, and the dance of our feet on the street tell the world that Bahamians are a creative people rooted in passion and tradition. I now declare Junkanoo season open. See you all on Bay.”
With the recent announcement that Junkanoo ticket prices will be increased by $5, Chief Information Officer at Aliv Dwayne Davis said Aliv will provide a “more efficient” way to purchase tickets.
“We’re looking to have an interactive app where during the parade, you will be able to interact with the groups and get information,” said Davis.
“This Saturday, we will be partnering with the JCNP for the official launch for the sale of the tickets. As many of you know, we will also be working with them for the number picking. So, we ask all of you to please make sure that you pay very close attention to the launch of the app. I think you’ll be very, very, very surprised and happy with the product.”
Davis also noted that the option to purchase tickets in person will remain available at both its Cable Beach and Harbour Bay stores.
As for the tallying of scores, National Junkanoo Committee Co-Chair Kishlane Smith promised a “timely fashion”.
“Earlier this year, we visited most of the inhabited islands where we were able to conduct feasibility analyses to determine exactly where Junkanoo is on those islands,” said Smith.
“And we’ve created this format which will better assist the Junkanoos on the islands and also to ensure that the scores are tabulated in a timely fashion.”