Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Bahamas kicks off carnival countdown

Published:Friday | August 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Lazar-DeLorenzo Charlton, Daronique Young, Shanae Strachan and Charles 'CJ' Johnson showing off carnival costumes at the launch of the Bahamas Carnival.
From left: Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, Carnival Commissioner Muna Issa of SuperClubs Resorts, and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe.
Carnival Commissioner Pat Mortimer (left) and Eloise Moxey. - Photos by Janet Silvera
From left: Kalik Beer's Brent Ferguson and Dario Terrelli pose with Quinton 'Barabas' Woodside and Calvin Balfoor, permanent secretary in The Bahamas Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, at the launch of the Bahamas Carnival in Nassau on Wednesday night.
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Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

Fireworks interspersed with the music of the islands of The Bahamas, heralded the historic launch of the Bahamas Carnival in Nassau's town square on Wednesday night.

In the spirit of its traditional junkanoo, the country, which is half-hour flight from Miami, Florida, and two hours from Kingston, Jamaica, will combine art and craft, cuisine, visual art, music, dance and more in a festive weeklong celebration beginning May 7, 2015.

On Wednesday night, during what chair of the Bahamas National Festival Commission, Paul Major, tagged a teaser of what to expect next year, several costumed groups graced the waterfront in downtown Nassau, showcasing the exciting and titillating colours of the region, while musicians celebrated with drums and dancers scripted footwork.

It was the heartbeat of the Bahamian people that was on show, presenting what could easily be described as a rebirth of a culture richly embedded in the renowned junkanoo.

"Bahamas Carnival aims to support the junkanoo tradition. It is our goal to make junkanoo a profitable skill/market. Bahamas Carnival will be another venue for junkanoo to be showcased," reassured Major.

The festival commission has put together a team of experts, including Jamaica's Muna Issa, of SuperClubs Resorts, who has been named a commissioner. Their role is to help in sensitising the nation and assist in bringing visitors from all across the world to the shores of The Bahamas.

Roscoe Dames, a well-respected name in the islands, has been appointed chief executive officer of the festival.

The event has received tremendous support from Prime Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe, who both stated that the government would place all the necessary resources behind the inaugural Bahamas Carnival.

Please watch The Gleaner's Entertainment pages for more information on this event.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com