By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
ORGANISERS of the “KeepJunkanooAlive’ movement that spread over social media yesterday claimed that Junkanoo will continue to “reign supreme” in the Bahamas despite the “Junkanoo Carnival fever” being marketed by the government.
Alexander Bullard, leader of the movement, said that the formation of the group came as a result of young Junkanoo enthusiasts coming together for a greater purpose. He said that people from across the Junkanoo spectrum saw a need to bridge the gap between Junkanoo fundamentalists and youths of the nation.
He insisted the number one goal of the group remained the preservation of the country’s premier cultural theme, Junkanoo.
He said: “The idea was to find a way to encourage positive action within our young people. We wanted to spread the word throughout the Bahamas that there are youths that are concerned about preserving Junkanoo.”
Last night, members the group gathered at Fort Charlotte with a number of other Junkanoo supporters for what the organisation termed “an old fashioned rush-out”.
Mr Bullard added: “This mass rush-out is not to bash Carnival or go against it. This is simply to get people to understand that even though Carnival is on its way, Junkanoo will be preserved for generations to come”.
This event is just another in the long line of woes facing the government as it continues to promote its inaugural Junkanoo Carnival event.
On Monday, it was revealed that the members of the Carnival Commission were seeking to pay American pop star Janet Jackson $1.9 million to perform during the week of activities, a proposal that was rejected by the government.
Three members of the Carnival Commission recently resigned; two of them, Ed Fields and Freddie Munnings, reportedly left the commission due to issues with the government and the other, Inga Bowleg, reportedly needed more time to devote to her career.
Then came news that the Bahamas Christian Council 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.”
That led Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe to defend the festival, stressing that the celebration would encourage “Bahamianism” and not “sins of the flesh.” Mr Wilchcombe added the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Commission would take “into consideration” all concerns voiced by the Christian Council.
Junkanoo Carnival will be a series of cultural events starting on Easter Monday and ending on May 9.
Officials have indicated it will cost $9m to stage the event.