Organized by the local Ministry of Tourism office, special festivities were held at the BAIC Marsh Harbour Farmer’s Market grounds on the evenings of July 11 and 12. The entertainment, intended for tourists and locals, corresponded with the 41st Independence Anniversary and was meant to replace the usual Goombay Summer Festival.
Included in the festivities were games, food, drinks, craft items for sale, Junkanoo costumes and music competitions, and music by famous Bahamian entertainers, such as Geno D, New Entry, Impact and Obeah Man.
A large crowd of tourists and locals gathered on both nights to enjoy the celebration.
Friday’s festivities included Junkanoo “head piece” and “banner” competitions.
Two small children, two adolescents, and one adult, paraded in front of the spectators and judges in an array of colorful, feather head-pieces, some sporting an entire costume.
Destiny Strachan, who wore a complete costume with an impressive head-piece, won first place, followed by Uriel Delancy in second place.
Next, two young men walked to the stage area, holding the banner from the Abaco Club at Winding Bay. The Abaco Club’s logo—the Abaco Parrot amid green vegetation and looking over a seascape of sand and waves, was shown on the banner.
The other banner was entered by St. John’s Anglican Church and presented by two volunteers, Shelley Austin and Dona Ferguson. The ladies entered the stage area, swaying to music while holding the eye-catching banner. Crafted by the Church Sunday School Department, it was made from a large fabric piece, decorated with sewn-on letters and figures. Sewn-on letters read “He created us for Joy” and underneath a group of small people seemed to be dancing, holding hands. The judges voted it to be the winning banner.
Martelus Chipman, the Obeah Man, danced his magic. The evening was topped by the performance of the popular Abaco group, New Entry, whose lively tunes entertained the crowd well into the night.
Junkanoo music was the theme of the Saturday competition. Children and adults armed with cow bells and drums energetically participated. Uriel Delancy won the belling competition, while Kyle Johnson took first place in drumming.
Abaco born, Geno D, serenaded the assembly with Gary McDonald and Impact, following for a complete performance of Bahamian music.