The official opening ceremony for the Tenth Annual Christmas Bazaar was held at 4pm under the theme ‘A Junkanoo Christmas’ with addresses coming from both the Members of Parliament for North and for Central and South Abaco.
Edison Key, Member of Parliament for Central and South Abaco, gave greetings to the crowd. He thanked everyone for showing their support for the bazaar and emphasized the roll that Wynsome Ferguson, Brenda Sawyer and Jo-Ann Bradley played in making the event happen year after year.
He said this year a lot of people have experienced problems, the economy hasn’t been well and noted that there wasn’t as many people attending as there have been in past years.
Renardo Curry, Member of Parliament for North Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary, said that “when we think about Christmas it’s not just the time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but it’s also a time that we can be unified and exhibit the spirit of love and togetherness.”
He said as long as we are unified with a spirit of love we know that not only Abaco, but The Bahamas will continue to excel.
He commended the “hardworking committee members” for all that they have done to ensure the event is a success. He gave apologies for the Minister of Tourism, Obie Wilchcombe who was unable to attend the event.
Mr. Curry, after wishing all the best of the holiday season to those gathered, declared the event officially opened.
Wynsome Ferguson, Director of Tourism Office in Abaco, said she is proud to have been a part of this Bazaar since its inception ten years ago, which is now the most highly anticipated event every year. She said locals and visitors alike look forward to the fine food and locally produced crafts as well as the bevvy of entertainment served up every year.
During the opening ceremony a special presentation was made to Gary Sawyer who was referred to as the ‘Santa’ of the Christmas Bazaar over the years for his financial assistance in helping make it happen. Jo-Ann Bradley said that this year they were finally able to have paid off their ‘Santa’ and wanted to show appreciation for his help.
Also honored for their hard work on the Christmas Bazaar and other events were Wynsome Ferguson and Melinda Pinder.
Marilyn Sawyer, a Marsh Harbour native, was chosen to turn the lights on for the Christmas tree lighting as the crowd applauded the beautifully decorated tree.