Despite the cooler than usual temperature, thousands of visitors and locals came together to watch the beautiful display of colours and dancing and feel the rhythm February 21 as the annual ‘Love Rush’ Junkanoo parade conclude with a new winner for the first time in many years.
On Saturday night for the first time, under the theme “Signs of the Zodiac,” the Murphy Town Superstars took first place winning in all categories.
The Superstars started up front with an impressive, banner piece which featured Astrological Signs, decorated with balloons, stars and glitter. The group followed up with a stunning display of costumes small and large representing each sign.
The Superstars featured an array of colourful costumes coupled with nicely choreographed dancing supported by a strong and talented music section.
The Green Turtle Cay Lil’ Island Slammers put on a spectacular show to the theme of “Welcome to The Bahamas” featuring colorful costuming and a solid rhythm. The group gave an overall great performance and achieved a second place prize.
The third group of the night featured the youth of Spring City in the absence of the Spring City Rockers. The group was a crowd pleaser with good music, choreography and costumes.
Anthony Morley, Chairman of the All Abaco Junkanoo Committee said he was impressed with the costumes in this year’s parade, saying that they were “much improved over last year’s costumes”. He added that it was especially good to note that none of the costumes were imported as in years past.
He said that there are several exciting advancements to come. There are going to begin training classes which will be sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. They are also looking at setting up a Junkanoo Cadet program for young people age 16 – 25.
Mr. Morley says he also wants to establish a national group using the persons from the cadet program until they reach age 25 and then they will be free to join any group.
He said he also has a number of sponsors already calling to support the development of Junkanoo for looking forward to next year’s parade. He said he has received interest in starting a Junkanoo group in Sandy Point and noted that Baker’s Bay wants to invest in a community group as well.
He said he is working on getting together an all Abaco group of artists and Junkanooers to do an art exhibition in Kansas City to support a major multiple sclerosis fundraiser.
Mr. Morley was pleased with the Police support and said he thought it was good overall event for the family with no reported incidences either night. He said BEC did an excellent job on the lighting of the streets.
He said he is also arrange for several of the members of the Junkanoo Task Force to get training on organizing the event. He is doing all he can to pass the knowledge on to the committee in order to make Abaco a cultural power – “I won’t stop,” he said.
He said special thanks were in order for Kendy Anderson from the Abaco Tourism Office and Preston Roberts and Vincent Coakley who did a great job on the Junkanoo Task Force, and James Richard who serves with him on the All Abaco Junkanoo Committee.
1st place winner: Murphy Town Superstars. Banner: 507; Execution of theme: 98; Costume: 901; Music: 510; Group Performance: 389. Total: 2,405.
2nd place winners. Green Turtle Cay Slammers. Banner: 395; Execution of theme: 75; Costume: 718; Music: 465; Group Performance: 348. Total: 2,001.
3rd place winners. Spring City Youth. Banner: 222; Execution of theme: 72; Costume: 550; Music: 396; Group Performance: 308. Total: 1,548