The Valley Boys on their way to victory on Boxing Day last year. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Valley Boys will look to claim their fourth consecutive parade victory at this year’s Boxing Day festival on Sunday night and Monday morning in downtown Nassau.
One of the country’s most historic Junkanoo groups, the Valley Boys have captivated and rocked both Shirley and Bay Streets on every outing since finishing fourth in the 2014 Boxing Day parade.
Under the theme “Let’s Enforce the Law”, fans of the group will not have to wait long to see just how up to the task the champions are this year as the Valley Boys will be the first group to grace the parade route. The Boxing Day parade is scheduled to start at a minute past midnight.
Category A groups will start on Bay Street for their first laps, Shirley Street for their second and return to Bay Street for a third and final lap. Meanwhile, Category B groups will be required to do one lap each on Bay and Shirley Streets respectively.
Officials are this year hoping to build upon the success of the 2015-2016 junkanoo season, which saw the execution of two flawless parades.
With stacked fields in both categories - six in Category A and 13 in Category B - officials are preparing for a well-paced, smooth and safe parade.
As they did in the 2015 Boxing Day parade, the Roots will leave the starting gate right after the Valley Boys under the theme “The Golden RA”.
The third group out, the Prodigal Sons are looking to rebound from a poor outing in the 2015-2016 season. The group was disqualified from both parades last season because it did not have enough participants to conform to A group standards. The group’s theme for Boxing Day is “Flights of the Lepidoptera - The Incredible Spirit of Bahamian People”.
One Family, the last group to win a parade before the Valley Boys’ run of success, will be the fourth group to leave the gate with the theme “Disney - Let the Magic Begin”.
The One Family Junkanoo Group was the official winner of the 2014 Boxing Day parade, holding off a strong performance by the Saxons, the fifth group out the gate on Sunday. The Saxons will perform under the theme “Guard and Protect the Wonders of our Marine Environment”.
Genesis, who will be first time performers in category A, will leave the gate last under the theme “Remember When! Bring Back the Good Old Days”.
With 13 groups, Category B features its largest field in recent years, but will be missing Music Makers, whose shacks and costumes were damaged by Hurricane Matthew and who withdrew from this year’s parades.
The order for the Category B groups is:
1 Conquerors For Christ (theme - Great Biblical Monarchs)
2 Fancy Dancers (theme - Wonderful World of Books)
3 Original Congos (theme - 52 Pick-Up The World of Playing Cards)
4 Colours (theme - International Culture Wine & Food Festival)
5 Mystical Bombers (theme - We Rushin
6 Chipping Knights (theme - Tribute to our Falling Icons)
7 Englerston Pioneers (theme - The Culture Storm)
8 Vikings (theme - What a Wonderful World)
10 Body of Christ (theme - Nations that Impact our Land)
11 Z-Bandits (theme - Bahamas Experience)
13 Redland Soldiers (theme - Exploring the Myths and Wonders of the Deep).
Tickets for the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day parades are available at the Junkanoo Corporation New Providence Ltd’s Administrative Office, Norfolk House, Frederick Street, daily from 10am to 6pm until January 1.
Ticket prices are: Rawson Square - $48.38; Parliament Street-Charlotte Street - $37.63; Charlotte Street-Frederick Street - $16.13.