When the smoke cleared and the drums and cowbells faded away into the early morning hours it was clear the All Abaco Junkanoo Committee had a tough decision ahead in selecting the winners of the Senior Love Rush Junkanoo Competition for 2016.
The Murphy Town Superstars’ hard work paid off as they emerged victorious under the theme ‘Wake Up Bahamas, Let’s Work, Live and Play Together’ which earned them a total of 2140 points. The Superstars earned 470 points for Banner, 103 points for Execution of Theme, 818 points for Costuming, 551 points for Music and 348 points for Group Performance; however, they lost 150 points for allowing brass from another group in their parade.
Following them in second place were the Green Turtle Cay Lil’ Island Slammers who added some Oriental flair under the theme ‘Presenting China,’ earning 394 points for Banner, 77 points for Execution of Theme, 552 points for Costuming, 510 points for Music and 285 points for Group Performance; however, they lost 150 points for losing brass to another group in the parade for a final score of 1653.
Third place went to Spring City Youth Junkanoo group who put on a really nice performance under the theme the ‘History of Junkanoo’ earning 320 points for Banner, 70 points for Execution of Theme, 548 points for Costuming, 431 points for Music and 228 points for Group Performance for a final score of 1597.
Despite wowing the crowd with their costumes, music and performance under the theme of ‘Preserve Abaco’s Land and Sea Parks,’ the Spring City Rockers fell all the way to fourth due to penalties which added up to a whopping 1250 points for swapping group position in the parade, for failure to be ready to go at the official time and place, loss of order of entry and for a partially costumed or bareback participant. The scores earned, without the penalties were, 484 points for Banner, 110 points for Execution of Theme, 1026 points for Costuming, 591 points for Music and 398 points for Group Performance for a score of 2609, minus the penalties their final score was 1359.
Chairman of the All Abaco Junkanoo Committee, Tony Davis said he was “very pleased with the Saturday night”, but noted that “obviously nobody is pleased when there is a big hiccup in the parade that’s why the penalty points were such for any group that would cause that to happen.”
He said “If you want to be here to win and you know you have a specific time, these are the amount of points you are going to lose if you are late.”
Mr. Davis said “I hope we light the fire in our young people. I commend Murphy Town because I see a little bit of it happening there, we are seeing more young people now who are willing to spend time in the shacks.”
Mr. Davis noted as Junkanoo moves forward, “obviously we know there are some concerns in reference to the senior groups, which they are not quiet about how they feel, let me just say that things evolve as you go along.
He told the Junkanoo groups that hopefully in the summer they can have a Junkanoo conclave in which all group delegates can discuss the way forward and it can be voted on.
“When you come out of that conclave, even though you might not get everything you want, you might get some of what you want,” he said. “Obviously the groups decide that. The committee has a little say, but the committee can only plan if there are groups, and the groups have the ultimate say, and decide the future of Junkanoo in Abaco.”
He noted that he has been involved in Junkanoo for 16 years and said, concerning one of the issues, “the bringing of people (from other islands) was never a problem, this is what I try to get them to understand is that Junkanoo belongs to everybody. We leave here and rush with Nassau at Christmas, or with Freeport; there’s no problem with that on the different islands.”
“Now I can understand the main concern which would be the proliferation, when it seems someone has imported a whole group,” he added.
He said that “we have to do things in a proper manner – I had just returned in January and so we have to abide by the rules and regulations that we have from last year – you can’t just verbally say something and change the rules.”
“I am optimistic about the future because the mere fact that they are voicing their concern means there is great interest in the culture.”
Parade Marshall Lukie Innocent added that “We are going by what the rules and regulations state, until this is amended, this is what we are being governed by. If there is anything anyone considers wrong the rules give 144 days for an appeal to be made and heard.
“The rules are clear cut.”