FREEPORT, Grand Bahama….A mere seven points was the difference between 1st and 2nd in Grand Bahama’s 2014 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade this past Wednesday evening on the streets of Freeport as the popular Swingers theme of ‘Dream’ led them to victory. The unofficial results were announced to an enthusiastic crowd in the International Bazaar on Thursday evening as the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee thanked group leaders, sponsors and junkanoo fans for their support.
Veteran leader of the Swingers, Anthony ‘Huck’ Williams said the competition was stiff but the Swingers showed their worth with their scoring in the major categories to earn their second straight New Year’s Day victory.
“We were confident of repeating as our organization, as usual, faced obstacles which we were able to overcome. This victory is again one for the whole group; we are not a one man operation,” said
Williams, who chided, “If we can secure a serious sponsor on this island, the other groups won’t know where we’ve gone.”
While other groups won in the major categories , the Swingers took second place in each one to win with an accumulated score of 2,216 points.
In second place was the Superstar Rockers (Bon Voyage), 2209 points, followed by the New Life Classic Dancers (Splendors of Eleuthera), 1,799; in 4th was the Platinum Knights, (The Great Mayan Civilization), 1,730 points, and in 5th Kingdom Culture (Gud Old Days), 1608 points, both new groups out for the first time; in 6th was Bayshore Warriors (Masquerade Party), 1315 points; in 7th Top Performers (Down Memory Lane), 896 points and The Harbour Boys (Bring Back the Magic), 341 points.
In an unusual occurrence, three groups were entered in the ‘B’ Division, Rotary, The Bushwhackers (In the Bush), and ‘Sting’ out of Nassau, but they were all disqualified. This did not stop them however from being crowd pleasers as they still rushed and entertained.
The Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee got kudos from all quarters for doing what was promised, starting and ending the parade on time with a minimum lag time between groups, much to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance.
GBJC Co-Chairperson, Allyson Smith recognized the contributions and cordial working relationship with group leaders and partners as playing a major part in the success of the event, something she said reflected the wishes of the Minister responsible for Culture, the Hon. Dr. Daniel Johnson, MP.
“The first group rolled over at precisely 5:59 pm and we finished before midnight as we planned it, thanks to the cooperation of the groups on the new clear path system put in place,” said Ms. Smith. She noted that beginning immediately following Junior Junkanoo (February 1, 2014), planning for he 2015 parade begins and moe junkanoo activities will take place during the year.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, the Director of Culture lauded the committee for it planning and execution that has kept this major cultural exposition alive on Grand Bahama. Also addressing the opening ceremony was BTC’s Director of Marketing, Jerome Sawyer who extoled BTC’s continued involvement in this major Bahamian cultural event. Also on hand for the parade were various Government Ministers and Parliamentarian, Opposition Members of Parliament, business and civic leaders, and the renowned, international singing group, The Temptations.
Listed below are Unofficial Results of the parade by categories. The final standings are determined by points gained in the four group categories, Execution of Theme, Best Performance as a Group, Best Music, and Best Costume as a Group. Official results will be released in two weeks.