Abaco got a taste of Las Vegas as the Spring City Rockers gambled on the casino capital of the world as their theme and came out on top for the third year in a row at the “Love Rush” Junkanoo Senior Parade on February 23, nudging out the Treasure Cay Explorers by a mere 18 points.
The sound of goat-skin drums, cow bells and horns filled the air at Abaco’s premier Junkanoo event of the year, and a myriad colourful costumes and floats flooded Don MacKay Blvd while the over 2000 onlookers enjoyed the rhythms, sights and sounds.
The Spring City Rockers, with the theme “One Night in Las Vegas”, impressed the judges just enough to beat out their strongest competitors, the Treasure Cay Explorers, under the theme “God’s Magnificent Creation of the World”, 2873 points to 2855.
The competition also saw the return of the Green Turtle Cay Little Island Slammers who’s “Carnival” themed parade placed third overall with 2243 points. The Murphy Town Shockers under the theme “Fire, Water and Wind” came fourth with 2150 points.
The 21 judges graded the groups on their Banner (large float), the execution of their theme, their costumes, music, performance and their choreography.
The Spring City Rockers’ performance included a Las Vegas style wedding and entertainment along with costumes displaying cards, slot machines and roulette tables and also the ever popular Showgirls in splendid colorful costumes.
Abaco Junkanoo Committee Chairman, Tony Davis, said that he felt that the event came off very well. They received a lot of community and corporate help in terms of technical assistance but he looks forward to seeing more financial support in the future.
He said the event was better controlled and better attended both nights than in previous years. “In the tradition of the last four years, every year we seem to get better, and this year is no different.”
He was “amazingly pleased to have Green Turtle Cay back with us, and Murphy Town did amazingly well as this is the second grouping from Murphy Town.” He added that Junkanoo patrons Gus Cooper and Vola Francis were “extremely pleased with the way in which our parade takes form – Abaco has made its mark!”
In the future Mr. Davis would like to see more participation from other communities, mentioning especially Sandy Point, Dundas Town and Little Abaco who previously had groups attend the annual event.
The more the local people get the [Junkanoo] fever the less we will have to import [people from Nassau Junkanoo groups], though we many never totally stop the import because many have ties to the Family Islands.
Mr. Davis said that having the “Love Rush” Junkanoo in February sets Abaco apart and “makes us the focus of the Junkanoo world.”
He noted that the event brings an economic stimulus at a slow time of year to Abaco with hotel room and car rental bookings and the trickle-down effect of visitors to the community.
Mr. Davis also said it was announced to the groups that this is the last year without penalties; beginning next year penalties will be assessed and will include late starts.