By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
The much-anticipated Goombay Summer Festival was officially launched Thursday evening at Taino Beach in Freeport, providing visitors and locals several weeks of the rich cultural experience of Junkanoo and great local food.
Brooke Grant, of the Ministry of Tourism, said the festival will run for five weeks beginning at 6pm until midnight on Thursdays until July 30.
In addition to the traditional Goombay Festival, Mrs Grant said the Junkanoo Summer Festival at Sunset Village in Eight Mile Rock will take place July 31 to August 21, and in West End from August 1-22.
“Grand Bahama’s summer experience features eight weeks of…excitement and expressions of Bahamian heritage,” she said.
At the Goombay Festival, there will be conch and coconut demonstrations, nature walks, bush tea tastings, and the ministry’s signature people-to-people experience.
According to Mrs Grant, a special celebration will also take place at Taino Beach on Independence Day.
The Junkanoo Summer Festival in Eight Mile Rock also promises to be exciting with an exhilarating street festival.
“Attendees can enjoy the best of the west, with Eight Mile Rock’s signature Fish Fry experience and the nostalgia of the West End Move,” Mrs Grant said.
“Over the course of the four weeks of Junkanoo Summer Festival, Junkanoo groups will be participating in competitions in the following categories: music, choreography, and costume.
“The entire Summer Festival Experience…will be a massive fusion of Junkanoo rush outs and cultural expression for the entire family,” she said.
The Ministry of Tourism’s director for Grand Bahama, Betty Bethel said the summer festival experience is rolling out at a time when Grand Bahama moves into one of its more successful tourism seasons.
“With increased occupancy, international air arrivals, cruise stay overnight business and room revenue, it’s now more necessary than ever to improve the product offering of the destination and enhance visitor experience,” she added.
The major sponsor for the Goombay Summer and Junkanoo Summer Festivals is the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.