0

Officials Say 30,000 Attended Junkanoo Carnival Weekend

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS National Commission Chairman Paul Major said the Junkanoo Carnival’s kick off in Grand Bahama over the weekend was “extraordinarily successful” with officials pegging the turnout at an estimated 30,000 over the two-day period.

Responding to social media reports that the inaugural event flopped, Mr Major told The Tribune yesterday that he had never heard such an untruth in all his life. He said the event far exceeded his expectations.

Royal Bahamas Police Force officials, according to Mr Major, reported yesterday morning that there were 10,000 people gathered for Junkanoo Carnival on Friday, while an additional 20,000 others attended on Saturday.

However, he said he was unable to give specific figures of the financial impact to Grand Bahama as officials were still in the process of crunching the numbers.

People flocked to Taino Beach at Grand Bahama for the semi-final round of the Junkanoo Carnival Music Masters Competition and also to participate in other festivities on Friday and Saturday. The concert saw 10 semi-finalists chosen for the final round of the song competition which will take place in Nassau when carnival begins on the island in 17 days.

“I can’t think of a bigger lie (that Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was not a success),” Mr Major said. “It was extraordinarily successful by any measurement. I personally didn’t expect to see more than 4,000 people turn out for any of the nights.

“By the time we got done with the festivities at around 3am it was quite difficult to find food. The vendors ran out of food. I don’t think anyone expected that turnout. They even ran out of Kalik beer on Friday night and I think Saturday night as well. All of the vendors sold out. So the vendors on the site, the hotels, car rental companies, airlines…every one saw returns and did well.

“How could you not call that a success? It exceeded everyone’s expectations. And I will go as far as to say that I was beyond shocked at what took place in Grand Bahama this weekend.”

Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said the success of the Grand Bahama event signalled bigger and better things for New Providence. Junkanoo Carnival takes place in Nassau May 7 to 9.

However, he said, the true success of carnival would not be seen in its first year but by the ability of the government to hold the event in the following years.

He said: “Overwhelming crowds showed up in Grand Bahama and we know that the island has struggled economically for many years.

“Hotel bookings, car rentals, the airlines, beverage companies, they all did well.

“So we expect that Nassau is likely to be a larger undertaking, as crowds will not only come from around the Bahamas but there will be a considerable number of tourists on the island.

“This allows for the proliferation of our culture and the development of cultural activities throughout the world.”

Since the government announced plans to launch the initiative, Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival has been shrouded in controversy. Cultural activists have said it was an insult to not only Bahamian culture, but to those who pioneered its progression.

Free National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has said that rather than promote Junkanoo Carnival, the government’s focus should be on expanding Junkanoo so that “other artists, like reggae artists, can incorporate it into their music” instead.

The Bahamas Christian Council has also opposed, saying it would not support the “immodest” costumes for the planned event, saying the scant attire could lead to “fornication, promiscuity, rape, incest” and other “sins of the flesh”.

The Christie administration proposed to spend $9m on the initiative. However, government officials have said the event is way under budget.

Prime Minister Perry Christie has said that the government expects to generate $30m for the Bahamas’ economy from carnival.

Comments

birdiestrachan 4 years, 7 months ago

I do not know why persons would say it was a flop. That is not true persons are still singing the prises of the event. I suppose persons who said that, would have liked it to be a flop. But that was not to be. Dr: Minnis is wrong once again. Even FNM's said it was great and they highly recommended it. it is to bad for the naysayer., and those who wished the event to fail. It did not.

1

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. Its sad some would want it to fail, especially since it was created with the intention to be a stimulus to the economy. Could you imagine every single hotel room and every available rental car on the island was taken this past weekend and that is directly because of this event. What great news this was for Freeport, which badly need an economic boost. When was the last time that ever happened for the island?

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrades upstairs at Shirely & Deveaux, you of all people should know when to recognize the difference between Carnival 2015's political propaganda and truth. Alright, I get it, your newspaper's "asleep at da news wheel" News Editor will authorize the the stenographer publishing of anything Carnival 2015, writes to send off to The Tribune? Out of respect for our loyal readers, couldn't you at least make a few telephone calls to Freeport? Believe me, there are some pretty honest business people there in Freeport, eagerly awaiting for your reporters to call them. Talk da truth they will.

WHAT IF THE CARNIVAL 2015 CARAVAN LANDED IN FREEPORT OVER THE WEEKEND & THE HOMELESS GRAND BAHAMIANS GAVE THEM THEIR LAST PENNIES TO DANCE TO THE FAKE BEAT OF CARNIVAL 2015?

...........///https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZvYv...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZvYv...

0

Tommy77 4 years, 7 months ago

Well said.http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/..." style="display:none" />http://s05.flagcounter.com/mini/WUu/b..." style="display:none" />

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

The event was hugely successful. I was impressed by how enthusiastic the crowds were and equally impressed by some of the performances, specifically Sonovia Pierre. I'm super thrilled that it didn't flop, considering many wanted it to, which is so sad.

1

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Caribguy, I am a big fan of Sonovia Pierre but the sister can sing all she wants, how she wants move her hips about how Junkanoo is her Carnival. But Carnival 2015, ain't the vast majority of the natives Junkanoo, not today and not in three years. You got it? Yes, I too moving me hips but to da real Junkanoo rhythm.

......//https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmQEr...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmQEr...

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

@Tal, I'm just glad it didn't flop and was hugely successful, as evident by the huge crowds on both nights. I'm glad all the hotel rooms were occupied, all the cars were rented, vendors were able to sell their foods and make some money. All in all, I'm glad for the economic boost it provided for the island and its citizens who are Bahamians. Whether or not the natives warm up to the idea of Junkanoo Carnival, is one thing, which, if going by the turnout in Grand Bahama, suggests that they are.

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

I missed the part with the enthusiastic crowds,. O saw people standing up and Avvy struggling to get them moving..it went so for every performer

0

The_Oracle 4 years, 7 months ago

30k attending would have to be a gross exaggeration, none the less it was crowded. Not sure how Government spending money $3 to $1 for vendor returns is good business or could be claimed as successful but as they are hell bent on being seen doing something so be it.

0

bigbadbob 4 years, 7 months ago

i own a local hotel and i did not have a single person stay here go to the event i dont belive half of the island was there . good turn out yes but not 20,000 people .

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

Was wondering when the "they lyin'...the crowd wasn't that big" posts would come.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade if there is lying occurring, try GPSing your finger toward the right liars okay. I challenge you to make telephone calls to Freeport, as I have done (10 in fact) and then report back, where the misrepresentation must have started.

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm not here to get into an argument with anyone, like I said before, I'm just thrilled the event was well attended and provided an economic stimulus to the island, considering many wanted it to flop, just to hold it against the government.

1

Millennial242 4 years, 7 months ago

You had to be there to believe it. I attended both nights. The feeling was electric. The estimate of 30K was within range based on how the two nights compared. Friday was a nice crowd and then Saturday was crazy with people (and that's no exaggeration).

I'm in my late 20s, I live in Freeport and usually go off island to have fun (because there is seldom anything tasteful going on in Freeport for my age-group). I was shocked by how great the turn out was for the event and how generally "busy" the entire island was both nights. At 5AM on a Sunday morning (hours after the last event), there was TRAFFIC on the roads. The late night/after hour spots (bars/nightclubs) were buzzing with activity. So YES...a huge impact on the local economy considering how "dry" it usually is on a weekend. Freeport is a tough crowd to "get out of the house". If last weekend was any indication of how things will be come May 7 - 9...then Nassau will probably sink with the amount of people out and about. LOL.

2

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

Glad someone who was there is saying this. It looked "HUGE" from watching it on TV, and I actually couldn't believe Freeport residents turned out like that. I was very impressed.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Nassau's Carnival 2015 is being promoted as a ticketed event, so my question to you is, did you pay to be entertained or were they admission free events? I hope you do understand that we are not talking about a weekend down-scaled event in Freeport but a 9.5 million dollars taxpayers money Carnival 2015 in Nassau. Let me ask, how much of the taxpayers 9.5 million do you feel was spent by the government, not Grand Bahamians, in Freeport over the weekend?

0

Millennial242 4 years, 7 months ago

I paid $20 for a weekend pass (Friday Night, Saturday Day Time Activities & Saturday Night). It was worth it. Listen, I very seldom comment on anything, but have to admit that the weekend exceeded my expectations. Nassau should be a good time.

1

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

@Millenial242, I too seldom comment on anything on this site, because it a very partisan paper, but I was waiting on this story simply because it was a success of the government and I was waiting to see the negative posts. I'm glad you attended and had a blast, I watched it on tv and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I could only hope and pray the Nassau event goes off without incident like the event in Freeport, and that the people "show up".

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

So, Comrade Caribguy if we follow the money trail then when the "promised" audit on Freeport is released in another 6 days, we should see where the taxpayers done received 30,000 admissions x $20 = 600, 000 dollars, as a "partial" down payment against the reimbursement of the taxpayers 9.5 million dollars investment. You sound pretty honest, so how much do you think the government, not Grand Bahamians, left behind in Freeport over the two days, from the taxpayers 9. 5 million? Cuz isn't that pretty damn important to measure success or failure?

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

We'll just have to wait and see just exactly how much of an economic impact it really had. But just going off of the "sight test", it looked to be success by the turnout of the people, and the reports that all hotel rooms were booked and cars rented. Now, whether that actually happened is another thing.

0

realfreethinker 4 years, 7 months ago

This was nothing to do with carnival. It was just Goombay in April. There are under 50,000 people in Grand Bahama and at no time did more than half of them attended. I was also there and enjoyed the music by the Bahamian artists, but to say it was a success all depends on what your perspective is. I know vendors who made more money on the regular goombay nirhts than this last one. the gov said they spent nearly seven figures to put it on. There is an easy way to get a relatively accurate count just check how many tickets were sold

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 7 months ago

Please do not fall for the Carnival koolaid .......... politicians want your generation to party and smoke weed and use the BTC tech and just float through a meaningless life ......... but U30, here is a country 4 u 2 build

0

Millennial242 4 years, 7 months ago

LOL. :). I was there to enjoy the Bahamian themed event. Believe me...my memory is still in tact regarding all the rubbish going on in this country.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Millennial242 have you and Caribguy thought of sending off a 'Thank You Card' to the generous taxpayers, thanking them that not one soul in Freeport can say how much of their 9.5 million dollars came to stay in Freeport, along with the PM and his Carnival 2015 road show entourage. Did they actually construct special Carnival 2015 Villages? Build a new airport or new roads? How many Grand Bahamians did they hire?

0

xtreme2x 4 years, 7 months ago

How many persons were flown in from TI, by the organizers to attend?

0

DEDDIE 4 years, 7 months ago

Some clients of mine who happen to be in town were totally impress. They are not easily impress when you consider the fact that they've attended concerts and carnivals all over the world. Its easy to find out the numbers. It was a paid event.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade Deddie but did you tell them a broke nation who could ill-afford be spending 9.5 million dollars taxpayers monies, just did to impress them?

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

I find it interesting that "we" (as in they) don't believe official researched numbers from the Dept of Statistics, "we" don't believe the Auditor General's report on UR, but "we" grab at these rough estimates as hard facts. Be that as it may, as far as I could see there was a large crowd on Friday, a larger crowd Saturday, 30k? who knows.... but they definitely weren't into the performances, every performer struggled to get the crowd involved, some doing better than others. Next year it will be better especially if they switch the tone deaf commission members. Unfortunately, they won't , they've appointed their friends and lovers and they are content.

My one request, please, do not turn Nassau into another political rally, that was a godawful painful experience to see those "grown" men trotting out one after the next hugging up each other on stage, grinning from ear to ear as if they were generating any level of excitement. On top of that we had to be submitted to ZNS' NEWS-like coverage of a concert????? What was that. People performing on stage while the panel discussed ICT, apple phone sales, talked about economic impact. That was like having teeth pulled, the only thing worse was sitting for hours in the dark when BEC failed AGAIN. Come on ZNS get it together, even the cameraman got tired of y'all. Switching to the stage while you continued to ramble on.

Other than that I find it despicable that the PM was partying and painting rosy pictures while the members of marathon were being told they've been eating benzene laced garden fruits and vegetables for the past year while the government sat around trying to decide when was the best time to tell them

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

Also, how is this "cultural village" different from any concert setup? Stage, tents, banner signs??? They mentioned in the marketing that the "village" would be a permanent fixture, are they leaving the stage there? Or have they cut the payment to the supplier if it's only a "temporary" cultural village

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

I knew this was a very partisan site, with a very partisan audience, but man... Give credit where credit is due. Fact is, many, many people wanted this event to be a huge failure, to flop, just so that they could pin it against the government for yet "another one of their failures". However, now all of those people are left eating crow, because Freeport citizens and the tourists on the island turned out in droves, whether to spectate or have a good time, they turned out. While it may not be in fact 30k persons who turned up, you cannot deny that it was a very large audience, that got even larger by the end of Saturday evening. And all reports are that they had a great time. I'm glad that there is atleast one poster who said he was there and that he had a great time, and from what he witnessed so did the thousands who attended.

Politics aside, I am just grateful that it provided an economic stimulus for the island of Grand Bahama and specifically for the city of Freeport. At the end of the day, wasn't that the whole point of this idea?

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Everyone saying this is a success needs to research the original plan. This was supposed to boost tourism. It didn't. This was supposed to create a new industry (costume making and sales) it did not. This was supposed to create year round jobs. It did not.

Basically we had a great cookout with a concert.

30,000??? Doubt that sincerely. Maybe 10,000.00 and 99.9% were locals.

As for an economic stimulus no, not even close. I'm sure vendors had good sales, not a stimulus a small bump....

JC was over the weekend and today Freeport is right back to it's dead self....

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Perry's original pledge of Carnival benefits to the country. You tell me if this is what we got...

A collage of Bahamian culture, Bahamas Carnival is the brainchild of Prime Minister Christie and is expected to stimulate sustainable economic opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the creative sector of The Bahamas, providing year round employment while positively and significantly impacting the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

The event is in its infancy. Bahamians are very skeptical people, and I was sure hardly anyone would show up for the festival. But they proved me wrong. I expect that next year, after surprising everyone involved with how great it turned out, it will be even bigger and better. Costume sales might have not been what they expected, but next year now that word has gotten out, I expect even that to pick up. Its only just started, and now they know exactly what work needs to go where to truly make the event an all around success for all parties involved from the vendors, to the costume makers, the marketers, etc. For a first year, basically trial event, it was a successful one, considering many thought it would flop and no one would show up.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade written as if Paul Major had written it?

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

Not, not Paul Major. Just an objective observer.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Excellent, cuz Comrade Paul sure as hell ain't to date been no objective Carnival 2015 observer. Let me ask, do you think there there will actually be a "full audit" on the taxpayers table, within the "promised" 7 days of Freeport's taxpayers weekend?

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

I cannot answer that. You'll have to ask him.

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

I thought I already was asking you "Paul?"

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

You cannot define success AFTER the fact.

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Caribguy, they knew exactly what work had to be done this time too. They simply did not do it. No advertising, a main act was just secured two weeks ago...

This is the PLP man. The only thing we can rely on them for is incompetence.....

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Comrade the consequences when a major newspaper won't even pick up the damn telephone and talk to the very Freeport business people who didn't see or experince even 10%, while most others experienced no $$$ boost from of the Carnival 2015 'fantasy" economic X FACTOR, they're gleefully reporting. I done reach my own conclusive why this is so, but you can arrive at your own. I arrived at stenographer reporting. Paul Major has promised taxpayers a "full audit" within 7 days of the Freeport event. His numbers better be accurate, cuz they will be re audited down to the red penny. Taxpayers can only hope Comrade Paul and his Carnival 2015 team, will at least keep that one Carnival 2015 promise. If not, why not will be asked repeatedly.

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

So tell me, would the FNM have been any different?

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 7 months ago

Perry's legacy ...................... UR2.0, BAMSI, Carnival, UOB, RenewBahamas, IAAF relays ............. what strokes of genius ........................................ BOL

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 7 months ago

Caribguy .................................Are you one of Perry's lover boys??????? He has them scattered all over the diplomatic corps, ministries etc......... What a legacy .............................. Another King James I

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

FNM would have advertised and we would have actually had a carnival.

There is nothing the same about the PLP and the FNM. No one can be as bad as the PLP. Not even if they tried. And the last 3 years have proven that beyond doubt.... No government has been this bad, this amateur.

Pulease......

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

So the fact that the PLP inherited the worst economy of any government in our country's history accounts for nothing then? What the FNM did in 5 years after inheriting a robust economy from the PLP was criminal.

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

You referring to the single worst economic recession in human history???

Can you imagine if Perry was PM then?!?!?!?!?

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Sorry... Single worst GLOBAL economic recession in human history.....

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Wait! Are you trying to say the FNM caused that recession?!?!?!?!?

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

0

caribguy 4 years, 7 months ago

No, I'm saying their policies made it worst. And the PLP is still picking up the pieces. Put blame where blame belongs is all...

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 7 months ago

Hey Proud ........... this mussee Brad's hologram................. LOL

0

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 7 months ago

Caribguy mussee smoking some of that weed stuff... lol.. Say the PLP picking up the pieces... Mudda sick man!!!

0

TalRussell 4 years, 7 months ago

Amen Comrade. Time for Bahamaland regularize the farming we own GANJA

0

ThisIsOurs 4 years, 7 months ago

@caribguy, the goal was "heads in beds" remember the brassy rep from Tourism who kept saying that Bahamian performers couldnt fill 300 beds but an intl act could? Well the tourist influx didn't materialize, there was a large local crowd which just means money shifted around but the baseline wasn't really affected. That was not the stated goal. Other than that anyone with eyes could see there were a lot of people. So good job on getting a local crowd that's not easy

0

duppyVAT 4 years, 7 months ago

Soooooooooooo, any word yet on Paul Major's audit of the GBJC event??????? We cannot let this rest after BAMSI, VAG, RUBIS, UOB, BTC, BEC, NIB, BAIC and BOB phony accounting etc ........................ and the PLP lying list goes on and on and ..................... on

0

Sign in to comment