The Shell Saxons Superstars rode to victory on Bahamian pride in the 2020 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade, sweeping the competition with first-place wins in every category.
With the win, the group broke the Valley Boys’ double streak of wins in the 2019 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade and 2019 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade.
The Saxons found itself having to rush earlier than expected, as it was originally scheduled to be the third A group out the gate; however, due to the Genesis Junkanoo Organization not being ready on time – according to Junkanoo Corporation New Providence (JCNP) officials – the Saxons took its position in second instead.
Rushing to the theme of “Bahamian or Nuttin’”, the Saxons exploded onto the scene to loud cheers from the crowd as its first float proudly displayed the coat of arms above a ship cruising in on waves.
The float blasted a well-known cruise ship tune as a display of smoke wowed the audience and a pair of dancers wildly waved Bahamian flags.
The group’s performance featured iconic Bahamian symbols from all over the archipelago, including the famous swimming pigs, straw work dresses and fans, pirates of yore, Bonefish Folley, catching crabs and a vibrant display of gold and turquoise costumes.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, a well-known Saxons member, rushed along with the group in a yellow costume decorated with fish as well as a headpiece flourished with red feathers as he shook cowbells.
The unofficial score for the Saxons, including a one-point penalty, was 84.62 points.
The group reigned in the Best Free Dance, Best Step Down, Best Off the Shoulder, Best Lead Costume, Best Choreography, Best Overall, Best Banner, Shirley Street, Best Music and Best Overall Group Costume categories.
Coming in second in the A group, also with a one-point penalty, was the Valley Boys with a score of 81.44 points.
The crowd was wild before the Valley’s first float could even be fully seen, as cheers and chants of “Who are we? The Valley!” rang out to welcome the group that rushed to the theme “The Games We Play”.
It dazzled the crowd with showcases of well-known board games, card games, casino games, video games and even traditional Bahamian ring play as the tune of nursery rhymes blared while dancers mimicked patty cake.
Glittering dice and all of the card suits – hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs – were seen throughout the performance.
One Family Junkanoo group came in third place in the A group with a score of 81.10 points.
It rushed to theme of “Some Like It Hot! Some Like It Cold!” and was the last A group to perform during the parade, with elaborate displays of both elements of its theme.
Icy blues and snow whites meshed with bright oranges and vibrant reds in a mix of fiery dragons and frosty snow queens during the rush-out.
Roots, the first A group to perform, came in fourth place with a score of 76.39 points.
The group’s theme was “Splendor of the Mayans”, which showcased ancient tribal face paintings and beasts of the Amazon from colorful exotic birds to leopards and alligators leaping from floats, poised to attack.
Only four A groups participated in this year’s parade, as the Genesis Junkanoo Organization ultimately did not make an appearance, and the Prodigal Sons were a no-show, according to JCNP officials.
In the B group category, the overall winner was Colors with 78.33 points.
In second place with 64.94 points was the Original Congos; in third with 64.45 points, the Fancy Dancers; in fourth with 59.44 points, Conquerors for Christ; in fifth with 58.23 after a one-point penalty, Body of Christ; and in sixth with 57.24 points, Redland Soldiers.
The results of a promotional prize giveaway were also announced: section F, seat 2, row 5 was the winner of a flat screen television; section A, seat 77, row 3 also won a flat screen television; and section J, seat 20, row 3 won a Nissan Note.
The respective winners may redeem their prizes by contacting the JCNP office.
Results were again announced at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity Place to a quiet group of spectators, unlike the evening Arawak Cay announcements of the past.
As the results came in, a man outside loudly expressing his shock at the Saxons’ win was a stark contrast to the quiet indoors.
Following the announcement, one individual openly suggested that the JCNP revert to the previously established evening announcement at Arawak Cay, noting that it was seen as a cultural “outing for everyone”.