North Abaco was the place to be for the Mega Family Fun Day event held on behalf of the Hon. Darren Henfield, MP for North Abaco. The event was held on the Treasure Cay Primary School grounds from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 23.
The collective mood of those in attendance was certainly a celebratory one with more than 200 children present.
On site, there was a bouncing castle, a Popcorn and Snow Cone stand complete with hot dogs, and a buffet-styled line where residents joined the line and were served a generous helping of ham, turkey, rotisserie chicken, conch n’ rice and baked macaroni. An assortment of free beverages were also available.
The program included a number of joyful performances with Ashley Clarke and Sylvia Poitier serving as Mistresses of Ceremony.
Wynsome Ferguson of the Abaco Tourist Office, and Gayle McIntosh from the Office of the Prime Minister were stationed at the toy and candy bag giveaway booth adjacent to the bouncing castle to monitor the children. Disney characters Elsa and Olaf from the movie Frozen showed up to the delight of the youngsters.
Jermaine “DJSlick Takeova” Strachan provided entertainment comprised mainly of Christmas carols throughout the day. Clarke kicked off the program with a delightful welcome address before announcing all that was available for the Fun Day. Sister Sherrymae was called on for the opening prayer.
Leading off with the performances was the Holy Saviour Youth Department whose performers did two performances one of which was a dance to the “Jingle Bell Rock”. Students from Progressive Readers Learning Center appeared as Christmas babes performing to “Won’t You Like to be a Christmas Baby?”
There was an intermission followed by an announcement by ALIV Representative Katty Paul regarding details about a free phone giveaway and other promotions offered by the company as she pointed out the ALIV van, which was on site. There were also phone card giveaways from BTC for people to win through game participation.
Clarke called on participants for the hula hoop competition, and Destiny won in the girls’ category while Dario won for the boys.
Other performances included St. Andrew’s Baptist Church Praise Dancers, who performed in a liturgical dance to the song “I Love to Praise Your Name.” Cooper’s Town Primary School and the Ebenezer Baptist Youth Department Choir also participated.
Meanwhile, Odell Cox Jr. showed off his expert drumming talent, and was soon joined by a lady shaking cowbells and two children dancing on stage. Performing in front of the crowd, Vantasia Pritchard did a praise dance to “Who Could Imagine a King?”
Treasure Cay Primary students were not to be outdone with a lively Junkanoo rush out where they were accompanied by their Principal Shantel Cox.
Another game followed for the ALIV phone giveaway engaging the participants in a riddle as well as a trivia where they were asked to name Santa Claus’ reindeers. In the end, there was a tie breaker to determine the winner, but it was Principal Cox who emerged as the winner after a hilarious performance of “Bulla Claude Funeral”.
The final game was for the children and required them to recite the books of the Bible in order from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
Another intermission took place as the deejay played more Christmas carols. Thereafter, Clarke introduced the Hon. Darren Henfield, MP for North Abaco and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as the keynote speaker.
In his remarks, Min. Henfield expressed his gratitude for being there along with his wife, Deidre, and son, Darren Jr. He expressed that Christmas is a time of reflection and of hope for what will come in the New Year.
“Don’t let the weight of Christmas cause you to worry about what you don’t have,” he admonished. “It is a time to celebrate joy, life, friendship and Jesus’ birth. It’s a good time to tell others that you love them.”
Turning his attention to North Abaco specifically, Min. Henfield said that the only way the community can grow is if they work together. In this season, he emphasized that is time to embrace each other. With the economy back on the move again, his expression was one of anticipation.
“I anticipate a wonderful year in 2018,” he said. “I’m concerned with engaging foreign affairs because what we are doing in foreign countries must be felt in The Bahamas. We are up to the task, and I am optimistic about the future.”
To the children, he encouraged them to be good children who have manners and respect for others and to do well in school. On a more serious note, he also cautioned motorists to be careful on our roads as they travel during the holiday season.
“On behalf of my family, the Prime Minister and Government of The Bahamas, I wish you all a warm, blessed and joyous season. A very Merry Christmas, I love you all and I am doing my best to make our lives better as Bahamians,” Min. Henfield concluded.
Cox Jr. gave the Vote of Thanks expressing gratitude to Min. Henfield for the kind gesture in offering such a wonderful event for families in the North Abaco community.
Perhaps the greatest crowd pleaser, though, was the arrival of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus on their golf cart as they made their way to the toy booth to distribute gifts and take photos with the boys and girls who anxiously waited on the line.