On a night that paid tribute to Abaco’s Junkanoo pioneer, Colon Curry, the spirit of camaraderie and love of the culture trumped the competitiveness of seasons past, and marked a bright future ahead for the Love Rush Junkanoo Parade.
Standing victorious in their first ever performance was the Spartans United, a mixture of Dundas and Murphy Town, who danced their way to victory under the theme “A Musical Experience”.
The costumes colorfully depicted music while the music itself captured the crowd’s and judge’s hearts. The Spartans won all categories except for Banner. They scored 384 points for Banner, 99 points for Execution of Theme, 989 points As a Group, 555 points for Music, and 447 for Group Performance earning a total 2474 points capturing first place.
The Spring City Soldiers, under the theme “Exciting Abaco”, also paid homage to Colon Curry on their Banner piece, which also earned them the highest points in that category. The Soldiers marched to second place on the night as they were narrowly edged out by the Spartans.
They were quite impressive as they paraded in a bevy of beautiful costumes with strong choreography and a solid musical performance as expected. They scored 438 points for Banner, 92 points for Execution of Theme, 969 points As a Group, 449 points for Music, and 415 for Group Performance earning a total 2363 points earning second place.
The Third-Place group was the Green Turtle Cay Li’l Island Slammers hit the sweet spot with their “Land of Sweets” theme depicting brightly colored costumes of lollipops and cupcakes. The high energy group were the veterans of the parade as the Spring City Rockers were unable to perform that night.
They scored 170 points for Banner, 47 points for Execution of Theme, 400 points As a Group, 214 points for Music, and 203 for Group Performance earning a total 1034 points landing them in third-place.
Tony Davis, Chairman of the Abaco Junkanoo Committee, said that even though the participation was smaller, the level of production was much better than in previous years.
He noted that this year “It was more of a spirit of camaraderie, fun and an appreciation of culture, as opposed to the intense competition of former years; on both nights.”
He said that the environment of “the whole spectatorship was one of support, one of happiness, one of enjoying the event as opposed to one being on this side or that side. It seemed to be more like a street party environment where everybody was of one accord.”
Mr. Davis said that he was impressed with “the fact that we found young leadership in Junkanoo, as the two leaders of the Spartans United are two young men no older than 32, that were able to galvanize young people, especially young men from both Dundas and Murphy Town, to come together as one with persons of Creole descent.”
“That was amazing,” he said. “That augers well for the development of Abaco as a whole, and if the culture can assist in that development, that’s amazing. We see that Junkanoo in the future is in good hands.”
He said that the committee found that “it was the right thing to do, as Colon has found himself with health challenges, that we honor him and give him his roses while he is still with us.”
He said this was “an opportunity to show gratitude for the many years he has helped in developing the culture.”
“He assisted not only in developing his own group but helped the schools and was with us when we oversaw the Hope Town Junkanoo for a while; he gave a lot,” he said.