PM: No decision yet on Junkanoo 

The decision on whether Junaknoo will take place this year will depend on how many Bahamians decide to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday.

The 2020 New Year’s Day Junkanoo was the last parade held in The Bahamas.

Major events and gatherings were canceled over the last year and a half as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 500 people. 

Yesterday, when asked if the public can expect the return of Junkanoo and other events as vaccination numbers continue to increase, Davis replied, “It depends on how Bahamians respond to the cry to become vaccinated. By that time, that decision will be made. Again, I’ll be relying on the experts, the scientists and doctors, to determine whether or not we should be doing those things.”

Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Chairman Dion Miller yesterday expressed doubt that any of the traditional parades, which are held on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, will be held this upcoming season.

“The Junkanoo community and the Junkanoo world is facing a myriad of difficulties as COVID continues,” he said when called for comment.

“You know, we’re experiencing an increase in the COVID numbers. We have seen some positive news in that the amount of Junkanooers and Bahamians at large who are being vaccinated is increasing, which is very encouraging.

“But coupled with that as well as the financial position that the corporate Bahamas finds itself in, it is very unlikely that there will be any traditional Junkanoo parades.”

Miller said the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the JCNP and its corporate partners are discussing the possibility of a Junkanoo experience.

He said that a decision has not been made on whether that event will be virtual.

As of September 18, a total of 184,461 doses of the COVID vaccine were administered in The Bahamas. A total of 73,901 people were fully vaccinated up to that point.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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