By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT – Defending champions the Swingers Junkanoo Group are the unofficial winners of the 2014 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade.
The Swingers, led by Huck Williams, managed to capture first place by a mere seven points, with an overall score of 2,216 points.
Coming in a close second was the Superstar Rockers with 2,209 points.
The New Life Classic Dancers were third, with 1,799 points. In fourth place was Platinum Knights, with 1,730 points.
Kingdom Culture was fifth, with 1,608 points.
In sixth place was Bayshore Warriors with 1,315 points.
Top Performers received 896 points for seventh place and the Harbour Boys was eighth, with 341 points.
For the first time ever, all the groups in the B Category – Rotary, the Bushwhackers and Sting – were disqualified.
This year, 11 groups participated in the parade in downtown Freeport – eight in the A category and three in B category.
There were two new A groups – Top Performers and Platinum Knights – joining this year’s line up.
Spectators lined the main parade route along Pioneers Way, where bleacher seating was sold out this year.
The first group of out the blocks was Kingdom Culture, with its theme, ‘Gud Ole Days.’
One of the group’s main pieces depicted the El Casino, which was once the premier gambling operation in Freeport.
Top Performers, a new group on the scene this year, took junkanoo fans “Down Memory Lane,” with depictions of travels to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and popular venues frequented by Bahamians in South Florida such as Saw Grass Mall, Jethros, Westland, Thirty and Dollar.
Swingers, the defending champions, were a crowd favourite. The group displayed gigantic costume pieces, and the choreographed dancers performed well.
Their theme this year was ‘Dreams.’
Another new group this year was Platinum Knights. Their theme was ‘The Great Mayan Civilisation.’
Show Time Junkanoo group was a no show.
The New Life Classic Dancers was also a crowd favourite. The group’s theme this year was “Splendor of Eleuthera.’ Their costumes featured the island’s rich culture – fishing, sailing, and pineapple cultivation.
The Superstar Rockers theme this year was ‘Bon Voyage.’
The parade was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Bahamas Telecommunication Company.
Kurt Neely, a member of the GB Junkanoo Committee, was pleased with the turnout and bleacher sales this year.
He reported that the last two days of tickets sales were impressive.
He also said that they decided not to erect trailers this year, allowing for a ‘free zone’ from were the public could view the parade.
Allison Smith, new chairman of GBJC, said he was pleased with the overall parade.