Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr. Daniel Johnson is convinced that based on the performances he witnessed from the Junkanoo Groups on Grand Bahama Monday, January 2, a National Junkanoo Parade is a must.
Johnson was on island to officially open the Annual Junkanoo Parade, which this year, only featured four of the island’s major groups.
At the end of the night, following another spectacular, colorful event the Platinum Knights were named the unofficial winners, taking every category with the exception of one.
Questioned on his thoughts of the 2017 Junkanoo Parade, during the groups’ second lap Johnson said, “ Grand Bahama has always been a cultural and creative center of The Bahamas and they are showing themselves tonight, on what they could be.
“I am happy to be here with my colleagues, with all of these wonderful people. I used to come here a lot as a little boy – B.B. King, Edward St. George, my father Oscar Johnson, the late, great Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling – and this place always had potential. We have to re-imagine it and bring it back.
“Tonight, I have seen some things that we can work on and so, I am very proud of what you all have done; I am here to endorse that.
“Secondly, tonight tells me that we are ready for a truly National Junkanoo Parade,” Johnson added.
“What we do in Nassau is not national, what we do in Nassau is a Nassau parade. I want to see the Freeport All Stars, the Abaco All Stars, Andros All Stars, Eleuthera All Stars, Exuma All Stars, Inagua All Stars, come and go against the Nassau All Stars – similar to what we did for Bahamas Games.
“We need to do a National Junkanoo Parade and call it that and let us see who the national winner is of the National Junkanoo Parade.
“We are ready now; it is time, I will arrange that this year, 2017. We will put together a National Junkanoo Parade,” Johnson pledged.
During the second lap of the parade, Johnson also encouraged all spectators viewing the parade behind the scenes, to occupy any vacant bleacher seats, to thoroughly enjoy the remainder of the cultural parade.
“People, any bleacher seat that you can see here tonight come in, all gates are open. This is what Junkanoo is all about. You all have done such a great job, your fantastic Junkanoo Committee and everyone here on Grand Bahama,” he told spectators.
Senator Tanisha Tynes and Nat Cambridge both disclosed, during the second half of the parade, all the groups did an outstanding job and it was quite obvious that special attention to detail was indeed the order of the day.
“Platinum Knights has definitely raised their game this year, compared to last year. They have come to take it this year,” Tynes predicted.
“So far so good; the costumes have been outstanding. A little better than last year and there has been a bit more consistency in the themes this year. This group (Platinum Knights) has grown this year,” Cambridge added.
Published Friday, January 6, 2017