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Victory For Valley Boys

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

THE Valley Boys Junkanoo group was named the unofficial winner of the 2015 New Year’s Day Parade last night, rebounding from their disappointing fourth place finish in the 2014 Boxing Day Parade.

The One Family Junkanoo group took second place, the Roots Junkanoo Group third and fourth were The Shell Saxons Superstars, according to Douglas Hanna, chairman of the Junkanoo Parade Management Team.

The unofficial results came after Junkanoo officials controversially reduced the number of laps the major groups would make in a bid to shorten the parade.

Instead of the usual three laps, each A group performed two laps – one on Bay Street and one on Shirley Street.

The decision received mixed results, however. Officials from both the Saxons and Valley Boys condemned the change, viewing it as further stifling of Junkanoo.

Mr Douglas yesterday dubbed the New Year’s Day Parade a success, although stating that he was unsure if the two-lap format would continue in the future.

“It was successful this time, and I’m only talking about this parade,” he told The Tribune. “(The three laps) has been tradition, that has been going on for quite a while. Honestly I feel that needed to change. It had nothing to do with what happened this year, but every year we continue to try and shorten the parade. We try to get the groups out as quickly as possible. Sometimes we are able to do it, sometimes we are not able to do it. The three laps is now taking Junkanoo into the afternoon, almost evening. 

“A lot of people say that’s not even the spirit of Junkanoo, because it is supposed to be held in the dark hours. But it actually gives for a better management of the parade with the two laps. This is only for this one parade. It may or may not be continued, but that’s a decision that has to be made by the movers and shakers of Junkanoo. I do not know if it is going to be considered, but it’s only for this one parade.”

The atmosphere at the parade was filled with excitement shortly after it began, with The Music Makers Junkanoo group being the first to actually bring people to their feet.

The atmosphere changed from exciting to electric, however, following the entrance of the Saxons, seeking to again trounce the Valley Boys as they did in the Boxing Day parade, and rose further with entrance of Rooots, One Family and the Valley Boys, the latter using their “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme and a desire to rebound from their Boxing Day disappointment to propel them to first place.

However, the lively parade did not impress Prime Minister Perry Christie, who yesterday said the government would be meeting with “the Junkanoo community” to see to it that the parade becomes less “boring.”

“It clearly needs a review,” he said. “I’ve spoken to the minister responsible for culture, Danny Johnson, in a meeting (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.”

Delays in the Boxing Day Parade marred the experience for many spectators, which was what initially prompted officials to seek ways of improving the pace of the parade in the future.

The unofficial results of that parade were also delivered some 24 hours after they were expected, causing a wave of confusion. There was also a mix-up in the results; the Saxons were initially named the winners but were later placed second when the full results were revealed hours later. After the results were overturned, One Family was named the Boxing Day winner.

Comments

Honestman 4 years, 8 months ago

After all the criticism of the Boxing Day parade I went to the New Year's event confidently expecting all the problems to have been ironed out. My friends and I were so disappointed. It was disgraceful that the first major group did not pass Rawson Square until 4.45. I saw an American family of four leave the bleachers at 4 am, having spent three hours waiting for some real action. What must they think of our World Famous Junkanoo? It is clear that some serious re-structuring of the event needs to take place. The groups have become too large and the lead pieces too large and cumbersome to move through Bay Street. The public is no longer confident that parades will start on time and hence the huge spaces on the bleachers for the New Year's Day parade. Why spend $50 dollars or more on a ticket when you can turn up at 7.30 and see the Valley and One Family starting their first lap for free? We left at 7 am having saw only the Saxons and Roots - a complete disappointment. I won't be attending again any time soon unless the product can be guaranteed. Worst Junkanoo for many a year.

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digimagination 4 years, 8 months ago

All 'Junk-and-nothing-new' - boring as hell! Complete and utter waste of time and space.

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 8 months ago

Ditto to Honestman and digimagination!!! Twice over. It was horrible. I didnt see any group that grabbed my attention to say WOW. I felt the same way Honestman...sat between some tourists in the row before me and the row after me. I asked the person who came with me, what must they think of this parade that Bahamians are so proud of? Any official who comes out and talks about a great success is telling a lie. and that atrocious commentary OMG, who's brilliant idea was that? The crowd actually cheered when the announcer said he would stop speaking....worst parade ever. I feel like I was robbed of my chance to enjoy one of the few treats Bahamians look forward to annually and now I have to wait a whole year to see it again

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ThisIsOurs 4 years, 8 months ago

why couldnt the Carnival multiday idea have been incorporated/merged into Junkanoo 2015/2016?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years, 8 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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Reality_Check 4 years, 8 months ago

Mudda_sic ain't jesting as I heard exactly the same thing from a well placed source within the leadership of the PLP. It seems Christie was terribly embarrassed by what he saw at both recent Junkanoo parades and is therefore taking the position that "enough is enough, time for a change!"

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