The Bahamian festival of Junkanoo traditionally takes place over Christmas and New Year. Now, due to its popularity, Junkanoo Summer has been introduced throughout June and July. Blending art, culture and music, local and national entertainers join the Junkanoo groups to parade through the streets. The festival has a rich history and tradition. The influx of Loyalists in the late 18th Century brought many enslaved people who were given three days off at Christmas, which they celebrated by singing and dancing in colourful masks, travelling from house to house, often on stilts. Junkanoo nearly vanished after slavery was abolished but the revival of the festival in The Bahamas provides entertainment for many thousands. The introduction of the Junkanoo Summer Festival this year will give even more opportunities for visitors and locals alike to enjoy this exciting celebration.
The festival, which for the past few years has had a summer presence throughout the month of June, has been expanded to run over a two-month period this year. The public will be able to enjoy cultural and heritage presentations from June 9 to July 29 at two main venues.