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Hearings set after Junkanoo protests

An independent review committee will hold hearings this week to determine whether the results of the 2019 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade and 2020 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade will be changed after the unofficial results were protested, according to Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Chairman Dion Miller.

“Every parade, nowadays, there are protests, so we got a few for New Year’s as well,” Miller said yesterday, confirming that protests were received for both parades.

“There’s an independent review committee; if any changes need to be made, that committee will make the recommendations and the changes will be made.”

He added that the committee’s hearings will be on Monday for the Boxing Day parade and on Tuesday for the New Year’s Day parade.

In the Boxing Day parade, the Valley Boys emerged victorious with an unofficial overall score of 81.44 points; the Shell Saxons Superstars came in second with 80.01; Genesis was third with 77.66 points; One Family fourth with 68.19 points; and Roots fifth with 64.31 points.

The Saxons claimed victory in the New Year’s Day parade, with an unofficial overall score of 84.62 points including a one-point penalty, and first-place wins in every category.

The Valley Boys came in second with an unofficial score of 81.44 points including a one-point penalty; One Family was third with 81.10 points; and Roots fourth with 76.39 points.

Only four A groups participated in this year’s New Year’s Day parade, as the Genesis Junkanoo Organization ultimately did not make an appearance and the Prodigal Sons were a no-show, according to JCNP officials.

Following the release of the unofficial results on New Year’s Day, accusations began to be levied that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis – a well-known Saxons member who also rushed with them during the parade – was politically involved in the win.

However, Minnis shut those down in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.

“Oh, please,” the prime minister said. “When we lose, they say we lose because of me; when we win, they say we win because of me.

“I’ve been with the Saxons for umpteen years. We have lost many a Junkanoo parade with me there; we have won many Junkanoo parades with me there. I was insignificant with the wins and the losses. Now I am significant with wins and losses?”

Minnis added, “I take whatever comes; that’s all. But whatever results the Saxons get, the Saxons worked for it. They have talent, raw talent, and they work for whatever they get.

“And they are now victorious and they deserve to celebrate. And they will celebrate.”

Continuing to praise the group, he also said: “It showed that everyone was coordinated, they worked together as a team and they will continue to work together as a team. After all, we are Saxons.”

Despite the protests, Miller said the JCNP was pleased with the parade overall.

“Sales were lagging, but last year we did 47 percent in sales [and] this year we came in at 61 percent, which is a double digit increase…so we’re pleased. We feel that the trajectory is on the right track,” Miller said.

For the 2020 New Year’s Parade, the corporation also introduced a promotion involving a giveaway of flat screen televisions and a Nissan Note, however, Miller said those prizes have yet to be claimed.

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 the Nissan Note.

The JCNP will “leave it until Wednesday and then we’re going to do another drawing, select another seat, to see if anyone claims it”, according to Miller.

He also addressed feedback regarding the new process of announcing results.

In the past, results were announced at Arawak Cay, where various Junkanoo group members or spectators gathered the evening after the parade.

However, since the 2019 Boxing Day Parade, the announcements were made around 2:30 p.m. at Trinity Place in downtown Nassau.

During the New Year’s Day Parade announcements, 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”.

“We’ve gotten some feedback about it,” Miller said yesterday. “Some persons weren’t aware; they didn’t see the notices. But generally persons want to get the results quicker, so I think we’re on the right track.”

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