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Pm: We Need To Make Junkanoo Parade Less Boring

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Perry Christie yesterday said he was “very disappointed” at the “lack of organisation” of the Junkanoo Boxing Day Parade.

He added that something had to be done to make the parade less “boring”.

He and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Danny Johnson will meet with the Junkanoo community to express the government’s “deep concern” with the event, he said.

Mr Christie, who said he sat through the entire Boxing Day Parade, told The Tribune that the parade needs to be “reviewed and organised”. Mr Christie’s statements came after a Boxing Day Parade that was marred by delays, prompting officials to pledge to seek ways of improving the pace of the parade in the future. There was also a mix-up over the Boxing Day results, as officials initially declared the Saxons as the winner only to overturn the results hours later and declare One Family as the Boxing Day champions.

His statements also came after Junkanoo group leaders criticised the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) for altering the number of laps A Groups would make in the New Year’s Day line up in a bid to shorten the parade.

Instead of the usual three laps, groups made two laps in yesterday morning’s parade – one on Shirley Street and one on Bay Street. A groups normally makes two laps on Bay Street.

“I was very disappointed in what I saw,” Mr Christie said. “It clearly needs a review. I’ve spoken to the minister responsible for culture, Danny Johnson, in a meeting yesterday (Wednesday). I told him it’s very important for us to meet with the Junkanoo community to advise them that the government is deeply concerned about the lack of precision organisation here. People are bored.

“Last week we had the extraordinary chanting from the northern stands that ‘we want Junkanoo, we want Junkanoo,’ because a group was delayed and they couldn’t have another group fill it in. The parade has to be reviewed, it has to be organised. The route has to be examined. You can see how the route has become narrower and narrower because they’re trying to put more seats in.”

Last week’s delays ruined the Boxing Day experience for many spectators. While the parade began on time around midnight Friday, a near one hour delay by the Music Makers group disrupted proceedings. Some Music Makers participants claimed that police did not allow their members through the starting gate, causing them not to get their lead pieces to the gate on time. Others said the group’s truck suffered a major delay on its way to Bay Street. The group was eventually disqualified for not having enough lead pieces.

In addition, the Valley Boys struggled to move one of its taller costumes out of the road after parts became tangled in a rope tied to electrical wires on Shirley Street. It took participants about two hours to move it, according to Junkanoo Parade Management Chairman Douglas Hanna.

Meanwhile, spectators on Shirley Street waited hours before the first major group appeared, with the Valley Boys arriving around 3am. The second major group, One Family, arrived in the area around 7:30am.

While the New Year’s Day Parade did not suffer significant delay, there was nearly a half-hour delay at the onset. However, the most apparent problem, as noted by Mr Christie yesterday, was the gap in between dancers and the actual band of some groups, at times making it seem like the dancers were dancing without music.

To better tackle the problem, group marshals could be seen instructing their dancers and costume wearers to speed up their routines.

However, Mr Christie told The Tribune that something is “dead wrong with Junkanoo” when the A section groups become so large that it appears that “hundreds of people are dancing without music”.

“People watching people dance without music is just boring,” he said. “At least hearing the music causes you to join the dancer and feel that something is happening. We either have to determine there is technology available to (place microphones on) the route, so when the band strikes up, the music is thrown along the entire route. Or alternatively to give them different sections of the group to put some music in, so at least people could be dancing and appear to be enjoying what they’re doing, as opposed to looking like they’re out for a hard day’s work in the front of a group that’s dancing without music.”

Comments

Romrok 5 years, 10 months ago

Heh. Biggest change to taxes in Bahamian history and he talking bout junkanoo.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

and yes, with all the major problems in the country, I do believe the PM should leave this to someone else. Daniel Johnson possibly (maybe he should spend less time giving boring commentary on the parade route and more time behind the scenes working out the boringness). In fairness to the PM, the reporter asked him the question, though he should have deferred it, he's a lover of junkanoo...sooo....

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 10 months ago

Its time to move the parade to a location where seating does not have to be so far back that its a waste of money to buy a ticket. I had Rawson Sq tickets, because I wanted a performance and if there's anywhere the dancers perform its Rawson Sq. Very dissatisfied, too far back to enjoy, left the parade around ~6AM heard "Valley comin", stopped a few feet after East St and OMG how sweet that was!!, I could have reached out and beat a drum (if I wanted to :) ). The experience being up in the stands was boring and completely different from the experience being on level with the group. Overall I thought the New Year's Day parade was a HUGE disappointment. Take a look at the front page of the Tribune...the FRONT page, the page that gets the most attractive costume/view...not a single bead in sight, a RUSH job. The pirate featured on the 2nd page was the same. Clear sign that the costumes were not finished. That was the winning group. Thats what the entire parade looked and felt like. I was embarassed as I sat among the few tourists who braved the parade. I'm certain now that Carnival preparations killed 2014 Junkanoo, and I believe 2014 Junkanoo will kill Carnival right back.

Anyone who utters the phrase "the parade was a great success" has no idea what the true success criteria for a junkanoo parade are.

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realfreethinker 5 years, 10 months ago

The junkanoo performance and the government is one and the same " boring,dis-organize,",if they find the cure for junkanoo,make sure give perry them some of that medicine.

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jusscoolin 5 years, 10 months ago

That's the problem with a lot of members in our Government . We have too many of them sitting on the wrong thing . It starts with B , and it's not their behinds!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 10 months ago

Heard it said that Christie is proposing to sign lucrative consulting contracts with both Chinese and Trinidadian carnival organisers for the purpose of totally revamping our very boring disorganised and unorganised Junkanoo parades into an entirely new vibrant "Bahamian" carnival experience. Under the terms of contracts, the Christie led PLP government will waive all customs duties on foreign made floats and costumes and grant temporary work permits to senior representatives of the foreign consultants as well as various Chinese and Trinidadian dancers and other foreign parade participants. Apparently Christie was also overheard mumbling: "Most of what is sold in our Bahamian straw market is imported so why can't my government import whatever it takes to create the type of "Bahamian" carnival experience we can all be proud of?" It will be most interesting to see how all of this shakes out with past organisers of our outdated boring Junkanoo parades.

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sansoucireader 5 years, 10 months ago

Hmmmm. Maybe he called it 'boring' because, like you say, he's planning to sell this off to the Chinese too. Remember Junkanoo 2013 when they came out as Chinese? That was just the beginning! I believe Junkanoo 2015/16 will unleash a large Asian presence on Bay & Shirley Street with not many 'Bahamian faces' at all.

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TalRussell 5 years, 10 months ago

Makes no sense hold Junkanoo during month December to interrupt the already struggling businesses.Why not hold it over span of 3 weeks to capitalize on the greatest tourist dollars?

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TalRussell 5 years, 10 months ago

Comrade Devil hear peoples pleas. Let there be no iced-water this bunch. The power current PLP Cabinet lay and collect VAT on backs poor peoples everyday items and electricity bills, to ignore citizens votes against licensing numbers operators and to screw hell out Junkanoo with introduction Jamaican styled Carnival, is perhaps this PLP Cabinet's greatest failures as a democratically elected government.

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Emac 5 years, 9 months ago

Move the dam parade to the stadium and call it a day! Jeeze man! Better crowd control, better parking, better group control everything better. Better , better it's gonna getter better! Better now and better to come when the...

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Emac 5 years, 9 months ago

@Tribune Editor-What happened to your Popular Stories feature on the right menu? Should this menu refresh to accommodate new stories on a daily basis? The headlines shown have been there forever and 10 days

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SP242 5 years, 9 months ago

If you want to join in the fight to protect our "Cultural identity', please read & sign this petition to The Bahamas Government's Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture. https://www.change.org/p/the-bahamas-...">https://www.change.org/p/the-bahamas-...

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SP 5 years, 9 months ago

............................ I hate wasting time with these deaf morons....But .............................

PGC finally got one thing right......Junkanoo is damn boring after the initial 30 minutes, has always been boring and is getting more boring with all the horns.

"FEELING THE DRUMS & SEEING THE DRUMMERS IS EXCITING" LOCALS AND ESPECIALLY FOREIGNERS LIKE TO SEE BLACK PEOPLE.... (NATIVES) ....BEATING DRUMS...NO ONE COMES HERE TO SEE PEOPLE BLOWING BLOODY HORNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the solutions:

  1. Make Junkanoo one lap moving West to East from town center with groups culminating on various parks, open areas and Potters Cay where locals and tourist could intermingle, spend, spend, spend and listen to their favorite groups jam as long as they wish.

  2. Change the concept from a solely spectator activity to mixed participation event....specific professional groups can still preform for points but also allow minimally costumed locals and visitors to participate with makeshift scrap gangs as well.

I won't waste my time expanding. PGC and all the other proven 40 year failed geniuses won't do anything sensible anyway.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 9 months ago

You e'ehn lie about them drums...

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sansoucireader 5 years, 9 months ago

What happened to that big announcement recently that no government official was to be interviewed anywhere about anything, and that all comments would come through BIS (Bahamas Information Services)? Don't want to hear his comments about Junkanoo or anything anyway! SMT.

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duppyVAT 5 years, 9 months ago

Stupid ass Perry should just stay on Bay Street all night and do that stupid 1-2 do wop shuffle that he is so fond of doing ....................... stupid ass

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duppyVAT 5 years, 9 months ago

Next Christmas I hope that we have a week of Junkanoo at Christmas instead of a stupid Carnival ....... We can have Day 1 for Youth Parade, Day 2 for the B groups, Day 3 for the Junkanoo float parade, Day 4 for the Grand Bahama parade, Day 5 for the Street rush out, Day 6 for the Junka jam and Day 7 for the Boxing Day parade for A groups ........... that will outdo any Caribbean Carnival festival ...................... it will be a blast!!!!!!!!!!! 0

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kairosmatt 5 years, 9 months ago

I bet he like the KKK stuff though.

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