By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
HUNDREDS of students displayed their cultural pride on Saturday, putting on a spectacular show for Junior Junkanoo fans who lined the parade route along Pioneer's Way, downtown Freeport.
Some 26 schools from Grand Bahama participated in the event.
Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Michael Pintard, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson, West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker Edgecombe, Iram Lewis, MP for Central Grand Bahama and Fredrick McAlpine, MP for Pineridge, were present.
First out of the gate was Hampton Academy Pre-school under the theme, "Finding Your Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow". The school was followed by St John's Christian Academy, which depicted children from around the world dressed in their native attire. The school's banner was decorated with flags of various nations and landmarks throughout the world, emphasising the message of unity among all children and their countries.
Growing Years Pre-school, under the theme, "A Winter Wonderland Fantasy", featured dancers dressed as Snow Queen Elsa, from the movie Frozen. The group's bellers depicted penguins, and the drummers were dressed as toy soldiers. The group's free dancers were costumed as kings, queens, and snowmen.
Rising Stars Christian Academy paid tribute to community workers, and students portrayed construction workers, police officers, nurses, doctors, a farmer, etc.
Under the theme, "The Bahamas National Trust - Protecting our Shores" Letty's Paradise stressed the importance of conservation. The group portrayed various indigenous animals.
The National Academy Pre-school brought the Smurfs to Grand Bahama. Its theme was, "All We Need Is Love", and students were dressed in blue costumes and white hats.
Kindercare Learning Centre showcased "A Day at the Beach". The school's banner depicted a beach scene.
The Martin Town Pre-school's theme was "Let Every Kindred, Every Tribe". The group's banner represented nations of the world, Bahamas, USA, Australia, Africa, Britain, China, Canada, Haiti, Jamaica, and Germany. The students dressed for worship, with girls in bright colours, with hats, gloves, bag, and boys as priests.
Following the preschools was the all-age division. The schools put all their energy into their performances and costumes.
Bishop Michael Eldon High School brought some New Orleans flavour to downtown with Mardi Gras. The group showcased the festive theme, with dancers in glittered costumes and masks.
The Beacon School presented the favourite classic of Disney's Aladdin with a banner depicting an Arabian temple. The dancers were dressed as Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Jafar and other characters.
The Lucaya International School celebrated the Bahamian Coat of Arms. Student blew conch shells and choreographed dancers were wearing costumes depicting a flock of flamingos.
Photos: Derek Carroll