GB Carnival a disappointment for many of the vendors

As a result of low attendance at this year’s Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Grand Bahama, vendors say they were disappointed as they were not able to break even financially. (PHOTO: TFN)

The 2017 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Grand Bahama was a disappointment for many of the vendors, who hoped to earn a profit at the major event on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29.

Several of the vendors spoke to this daily about various issues they had concerning the festival, particularly on Saturday night.

Joshua Miller, Proprietor of Limeade Bahamas said that it was his first time selling his product at the event.

“We sell all natural limeade beverages,” he said.

According to Miller, despite having seven flavors with limeade, ginger, mango pineapple, peach, strawberry and wild berry, he did not make the profit he was expecting at Carnival.

“To be honest this is my best Freeport event, that’s all I can say,” he said.

It was not Drexel Porter’s first year selling his gully wash, but according to Porter, it might be his last based on the less than successful turnout.

“I’ve been doing since Junkanoo Carnival started in Grand Bahama and this year has been absolutely deplorable,” he said.

Porter stated that if he had known the event would have turned out the way it had, he would not have participated.

He told this daily that there was a multitude of problems regarding the Carnival’s organization.

One of the major issues was its lack of advertisement, he opined.

He explained that the constant uncertainty of the event’s occurrence must have contributed to the low number of attendees, additionally there was not as much promotion as in previous years.

“If you reflect back to the last couple of years when they were having it, as you drive from the airport onto Sunrise and around the circles, wherever you go there was something that reminded you that there’s a big event coming,” he said.

With regards to the vendors, Porter stated that the fees were too high.

A source close to this daily revealed that the vendor’s booth fees were about $300 for the two nights.

Porter said that it should have been considered that Grand Bahama is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew that hit in October 2016 and funds would be hard to come by.

A toy vendor, Evangeline Saunders also spoke on the treatment of vendors, specifically with parking arrangements.

“They said that they had parking space for the vendors, then when you come and park here – like yesterday two police came and told us to move our vehicles by 5:30,” she claimed.

Saunders added that their parking space was too far, especially since they had to carry heavy equipment and supplies to and from their cars.

It was also dangerous for when leaving the venue late at night, she noted.

One food vendor revealed to this daily that there was too many vendors selling the same thing for anyone to make a substantial profit.

According to the vendor, there were over 20 vendors.

This vendor added that the $20 ticket fee was too much for residents, which was probably why the crowd was much smaller than last year’s.

Another food vendor stated that this was their first and last time, as a participating vendor for the event.

The vendor informed this daily that they had yet to break even on their $300 booth fee and strongly doubted that they would.

One returning food vendor told this daily that they had always known it was a possibility to lose money, but they never expected the turnout to be as unfortunate as it was.

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