Monday, December 1, 2014

Junkanoo Carnival Launched in GB: Costumes to Go Online

Prime Minister Christie addresses the crowd.   (BIS Photo/Peter L. Ramsay)

Junkanoo Carnival Launched in Port Lucaya: 
Costumes to be Sold Online Worldwide

By Robyn Adderley
Bahamas Information Services

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, gave the Junknaoo Carnival costumes presented high praise during the official launch of Junkanoo Carnival on Friday in Port Lucaya.

“I knew that Grand Bahama was going to come tough, but little did I imagine that I would see such array of beauty and grace and charm.”

Prime Minister Christie said he has been a Junkanoo artist himself, and he is someone who has always been and still is the best dancer in Junkanoo in The Bahamas. With the encouragement of the crowd, the Prime Minister then did the ‘Christie Shuffle’ to cheers and applause.

He said, “We decided that we wanted to merge the Carnival concept with Junkanoo, and we wanted to give both men and women who slaved away at Junkanoo, an opportunity to make and sell costumes not just in The Bahamas, but online around the world.

“We want thousands of Americans and others to come in to play with us during our Junkanoo Carnival season. And what is happening this evening is simply an example of the kind of costumes that Grand Bahama is putting forward.”

Freeport, Grand Bahama, he said, is ready, and this news he is taking back to Nassau to share with those participating there.

Modeling costume creations. (BIS Photos/Peter L. Ramsay)

Prime Minister Christie then called Mrs. Ginger Moxey to the stage. He added, she said she would take on the responsibility of coordinating the event in Grand Bahama. He congratulated her on the work done so far.

He said that the last time he came to Grand Bahama, he had mentioned that the initial stages of the event will take some funding. The Band from Freeport, he continued, will be a combination of the Junkanoo groups merging with others, and one group will travel to New Providence for the parade.

“It is going to cost them because initially they may not sell as many costumes as they could. It’s going to cost them to travel and be accommodated in New Providence.”

The Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville, Mrs. Moxey and the co-coordinator for Grand Bahama, Felix Stubbs, will be working to ensure adequate funding happens.

Letters and phone calls will be made, he said, so that “this high quality demonstration that we have here is supported by hundreds of young people coming from Freeport, coming from West End, coming from East End all coming to New Providence to claim Junkanoo Carnival next May.”

Minster of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe with models in costume.  
(BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

Introducing the Prime Minister was Tourism Minister, the Hon. Obadiah Wilchcombe, who said in May, Junkanoo Carnival will be “the most fantastic show” the country has ever seen with all of the fun beginning in Grand Bahama.

“All of you know that Junkanoo is our major celebration and we’ve decided to bring Junkanoo together with Carnival to allow a taste of The Bahamas to mix with what happens around the world, but in particular, throughout the Caribbean.

“We want people to come and enjoy this wonderful country. Enjoy our wonderful culture and to see our wonderful people and our love of artistry. We are going to have the greatest event and we want every Bahamian to participate because our Carnival allows everyone to get on board to march, to have fun and to enjoy the celebration.”

Minister Wilchcombe said the idea was that of Prime Minister Christie who felt more needed to be done for Junkanoo. “We needed to do more to ensure that our country is promoted around the world and so he said let us now introduce Junkanoo Carnival.”

Modeling costume creations. (BIS Photos/Peter L. Ramsay)

Many government officials and businesspersons were present to witness the unveiling of the prototype costumes. There was also the announcement of the event scheduled for April 17-18, 2015 at Taino Beach – ‘A Grand Life’ weekend, which will include: Music Masters Semi-Final Concerts, Midnight Rush, and a Beach Party.

The major event slated for Nassau will be May 7 through 9, 2015.