By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
MORE than four months since festival-goers masqueraded through the streets of Nassau at the second annual Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, organisers confirmed that the highly anticipated economic and revenue report on the event will be released next week.
Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) Chairman Paul Major told The Tribune yesterday that a press conference has been scheduled for next Tuesday to present the report.
This comes after weeks of back and forth between Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe and Mr Major over who should release the information to the media.
At a ceremony to honour straw market vendors yesterday, Mr Wilchcombe told reporters that he was “almost certain” the report would be released Thursday.
Mr Wilchcombe said: “By now, the commission brought it to the Cabinet, the Cabinet would have heard the results of this past year’s carnival, and the prime minister would have given permission for the report to be released.
“So they should have released it by now, I’m sure they will release it any moment now.”
When pressed for further details on the report’s findings, he said: “Let the commission release it, I’m not responsible for the commission so I’ve been speaking out of turn.
“The commission’s responsibility comes from the Prime Minister’s Office so the commission has to release but they will release (Thursday). I’m almost certain, I will call (to see) why it hasn’t been released, but it should be released (Thursday).”
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was held in Nassau from May 5-7, and in Grand Bahama from April 15-16. On July 25, Mr Major confirmed to Tribune Business that he was preparing to present the completed report to the government that same day.
The BNFC faced strong criticism last year for going over-budget and a lack of proper planning, and promised a more “focused” marketing approach for this year’s festival. The BNFC previously had said funding for this year’s festival would be roughly $7 million.