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Junkanoo Cut To A Single Lap

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

A DECISION to reduce the number of laps the major Junkanoo groups will make during tomorrow’s New Year’s Day parade was condemned by officials from the Saxons and Valley Boys.

Instead of the usual three laps, each A Group will perform two laps - one on Bay Street and one on Shirley Street - in a bid to shorten the parade.

This was confirmed Chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Silbert Ferguson confirmed yesterday.

The move, however, was not met with unanimous approval.

Some believe it will help ensure that tomorrow’s parade ends on time, others – including the leaders of the Saxons and Valley Boys – see it as further stifling of Junkanoo.

The decision was made following a vote during an executive meeting of the JCNP on Monday night. Representatives of the A Groups of One Family, Roots, Music Makers and Prodigal Sons voted in favour of the move.

The Valley Boys abstained from voting, however, and no representative from the Shell Saxons Superstars attended, Mr Ferguson said.

Moments after the meeting ended on Monday evening Valley Boys Chairman Brian Adderley released a statement criticising what he called an attempt to limit the exposure of Junkanoo.

“This arbitrary change to the rules two days before the parade, in our opinion, further undermines Junkanoo,” he said. “We believe that any change to the rules should only be done after proper notice and consultation with all of the relevant stakeholders – and certainly not two days before the parade.

“At a time when Junkanoo is fighting for its survival, we believe that to limit the exposure of Junkanoo to potential spectators, and indeed the world, in this manner is counter-productive. We regret any inconvenience caused to the major sponsors of the Junkanoo parade: BTC, Kalik and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism as a result of the reduced exposure and we also wish to apologise to our sponsors: Baha Mar, Rubis, Bamboo Shack and Boomer Trucking, who we have promised two laps of exposure on Bay Street.”

Saxons leader, Percy “Vola” Francis, also criticised the move, adding that it did not matter if his group had been present during the executive vote because the result would have been the same.

“I have a serious problem with everything the JCNP is doing,” he told The Tribune. “What is really happening is, whatever they decide to do, it’s six major groups, with four of them, when they vote, they all vote together so it doesn’t matter if the Saxons and the Valley say no. They will have a four to two vote every time there is a motion.

“This watering down of Junkanoo really disturbs me. A lot of people don’t go out too early, but go out because they say the Saxons (will) be coming out at a particular time. When you make moves like this you limit the opportunities people have and then they wonder why people don’t buy tickets.”

Mr Francis said he believes the votes of the Saxons and Valley Boys should carry more weight, adding: “People ain’t coming to see them other groups. People who (are) making the decision getting disqualified,” he added, referring to the Music Makers and Prodigal Sons who were disqualified during the Boxing Day parade.

For his part, Darron Turnquest, chairman of One Family, said while the move is not ideal, it is in the best interest of everyone involved.

“After meeting with the police and listening to some of the discussions that took place, I think we reviewed our rules clearly to see there was no requirement for the parade management team to come to us and offer to see whether we would like to shorten the parade or not,” he said.

“That decision could have been made by them without us. But understanding the concern of the police and the length of time it took the last parade to finish and the fact that this parade will be starting at 2am, we don’t have a challenge with this move.”

In a statement released last night, the Saxons said the group is scheduled to parade on Bay Street in the third position out of the gate. The statement added that the group is disappointed the JCNP has shortened the parade despite a good weather forecast and no indication on how this will help Junkanoo.

“It is obvious that the leadership of the JCNP has lost direction in the quest for improving the state and condition of Junkanoo, a matter we hope to address shortly following the 2015 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade,” the statement said.

The Boxing Day Parade was marred with delays and confusion over the results.

Although the Saxons were initially declared the unofficial winners, those results were later overturned. One Family was named as the actual winner of the parade while the Saxons came second, Roots third and Valley Boys fourth.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 years, 9 months ago

It's really senseless. The problem was with the first lap. Remove the second or third lap and you STILL HAVE A PROBLEM. Solve the PROBLEM. Stop with stupid decisions just for the sake of saying you did something

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Cobalt 3 years, 9 months ago

That's true. The problem is, and has always been the first lap. Many of the junkanoo groups never get their groups fully organized until the 2nd and 3rd lap. I say, leave Junkanoo the way it is. So what if it's long. It was actually fun to see the parade go on for fifteen plus hours. I was able to watch the first lap... go home and get some sleep.... then come back and watch the third lap.

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Publius 3 years, 9 months ago

Everything this government touches it tarnishes or destroys

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Stapedius 3 years, 9 months ago

What does the government have to do with it? The Junkanoo committee is make this decision.

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MaLambee 3 years, 9 months ago

Please don't do this. We experience this cultural event but twice a year. Fix the problems. So many people come from far away to see this. Will the price of the tickets be reduced by half?

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wngriff 3 years, 9 months ago

That is a bad decision, people who are unable to purchase tickets, they come out specifically for the second lap (when it's daylight), they are also able to get good free seats. The second lap will be great, its good for the tourist. Hope this not permanent for future parades.

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concernedcitizen 3 years, 9 months ago

Its f,,,,king crazy .Junkanoo was a nice tradition w/ scrap groups etc ,,For 40 odd years and millions of dollars we have tried to make it bigger and take it to the world w/ no success ..There are now more people in the parade then spectators ...We have been strong arm foreign firms for decades to sponsor basically our party ,now we are digging out of our broke treasury for junkanoo carnival ,,you can,t make a mardi gras or carnival in brazil ,,it either is or it is not ,,and every year the stupidness over judging ,,really its just idiotic

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TalRussell 3 years, 9 months ago

Comrades tis so damn obvious the Ministerial "Carnival Czars" in the PLP Cabinet are giving da boot to Junkanoo. Da Boxing Day and New Year's Day Junkanoo parades we and we grandpapa's and grandma's have grown to love and enjoy, is done getting da cabinet's swift official boot. Here comes da all new Carnival!

Pran Lari A - Haiti Carnaval

......................///https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVmCpwnIgNg

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pablojay 3 years, 9 months ago

They are cutting back on the laps and introducing Carnival, for how many DAYS?......Soon it will be NO LAPS. I guess we should adopt a Trini accent too. And they made y'all believe that they believe in Bahamians! They only believe in our gullibility!

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BahamianAway 3 years, 9 months ago

What they need to do (and I have said this numerous times) is make Junkanoo a week long festival, starting December 25th and wrapping up January 1st. This gives the groups opportunites to showcase all of the pieces that they work so hard on all year, it gives vendors an opportunity to sell their products for more than two nights, it gives the option of selling multiple tickets for more than the two nights- they can sell ticket packages, it gives the tourists a chance to see the parade depending on which nights they are in town, and it allows the parade to be earlier and finish quicker.

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Stapedius 3 years, 9 months ago

Our inability to get junkanoo to where it should be says a lot about us as a people. A cultural parade which is only in part expresses who we are we can't seem to properly plan. I agree with several of the posters that cutting the laps doesn't solve the problem. Getting the groups to bay seems to be the major hold up. So perhaps there needs to be more assistance and logistics planning by the njcp in helping all groups get to Bay. We all recognize that the large groups have greater financial resources and may not require as much aid as the B groups. But there is no reason why groups like the Fancy Dancers and Prodigal Sons be heavily penalized. The NPJC has screwed tthe season's parades up. First they create doubts and uncertainty with scores and now this. The management are too laid back and don't run the operation like a business. They really should be finding avenues to promote, and make as much money from the parade as possible. On the internet the advertising is poor. Hardly any social media hype. The videos from parades should be vivid and HD on YouTube etc getting maximum exposure.Get with it people.

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John 3 years, 9 months ago

I have a plan for junkanoo

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