By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
JUNKANOO fans turned out for the 2015 New Year’s Day parade in Grand Bahama, despite wet and chilly conditions and the format being reduced to one lap for reasons of time.
Allison Smith, Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee chairman, said on Friday the official results were still being tallied and would be released at 6pm today.
“The parade would have ended at 4am if we went ahead as usual,” she explained. The parade started shortly after 6pm on Pioneer’s Way, and ended at midnight. Twelve groups participated this year.
First out, under the theme “Celebrations”, was the Showtime Junkanoo Group. The group’s banner depicted a birthday cake, marking their third anniversary as a group.
The lead costumes featured Columbus Day and took spectators back to 1492, when Christopher Columbus discovered the 700 islands of the Bahamas. The three ships making the journey to the New World – the Pinta, Nina and Santa Maria – sailed along the parade route.
The group’s off-the-shoulder costumes featured special celebrations such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother‘s Day, Labour Day, the Bahamas Independence, Halloween, Boxing Day and Mardi Gras.
The Superstar Rockers followed with a western theme, “The hoe down in down town – Let’s Visit Texas”, their banner depicting a train on the first railroad entering Texas from the north.
The off-the-shoulder dancers took on the persona of Caddo Indians, the first native American tribe to inhabit Texas, and the Comanche Indian Tribe. There were also Spanish Conquistadors with shields and swords. The performances included Indian tribal war dancing and cowgirls dressed for state rodeo, with bulls, clowns and bull riders.
The Rockers also depicted the war scene of the Texas Revolution of the battle between Mexico and Texas armies. Famous American historical figure Stephen F Austin, the father of Texas; and historical places such as the Alamo, Rodeo, and the Johnson Space Centre in Houston were also depicted as the group grooved to the sounds of country music.
The theme for the New Life Classic Dancers was “Crime – Enough is Enough Bahamas; we need peace.” The group pushed the message drop the guns, drugs, and hate, and pick up peace, love and unity. The banner portrayed a live scene of a magistrate court room, a crest of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Bahamian flag.
The group’s off-the-shoulder costumes depicted peace on earth, casino gambling, border control, the last sunset, just say no, Ten Commandments, no bail, jail bird, caught in the act (stealing), and straw market fire.
The group’s choreographed dancers were in sync with the music, a mix of traditional Bahamian and gospel music.
The group’s lead costume was a depiction of a vintage, limited edition Rolls Royce, and images of Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett; National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage, Superintendent of Prisons Patrick Wright, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and Royal Bahamas Defence Force Commodore Roderick Bowe.
The Swinger’s Group depicted costumes under the theme ‘Life in the Wild, Wild, West’. They portrayed the turbulent times in the American West of epic struggles and clashing of cultures, and the birth of Western legends.
The group’s banner featured the Great Train Robber, and the lead costume depicted the Great Stage Coach Robbery. The off-the-shoulder costume pieces featured Buffalo Rider, Dancing with Wolves, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Striving Indian, Dancing Indian, Who Shot Jessie James, Geronimo, OK Corral and Saloon Girls.
Bayshore Warriors’ theme were signs of the Zodiac, with off-the-shoulder costumes featuring 10 of the 12 signs. The dancers and brass band also represented zodiac signs. The lead costume featured compatible signs of Capricorn, Libra and Pisces, the Sun, Moon, stars and planets as the backdrop, and a half-man, half horse Sagittarius in the centre.
The Kingdom Culture theme was “It’s Party Time”. The banner featured a multi-layered cake topped with a question mark. The banner holders were costumed as party clowns. There were two-choreographed dancing units depicting Carnival and Mardi Gras. The free and off-the-shoulder dancers were dressed for wedding party, surprise party, Super Bowl party and
The group’s bell ringers and drummers and brass section depicted a cultural masquerade party. The lead costume took the form of a backyard party.
Top Performers Group theme was “Greeting Cards and Invitations.” The banner featured a nature scene with beautiful butterflies, little girls sitting on giant swans. Costumes also depicted various greetings cards for occasions such as Happy Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, Deepest Sympathy and Happy Valentine’s Day.
The dancers costumed as Valentine Queen, Gift Bearer, Petal Dropper, Vacation Show Dancer, Luck of the Irish, Spirit of Christmas, Mrs Claus and Blushing Bride.
Platinum Knights’ theme was Currency Exchange and Investors to the Bahamas. The group’s banner was the Central Bank of the Bahamas. The Bushwackers theme was “Look Green, Think Green, and Go Green”. The Harbour Boys, Western Stars Titans and Sting also participated.