By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Platinum Knights emerged as the winner of the 2018 New Year's Day Junkanoo Parade in Grand Bahama, according to unofficial results released last night.
The group won with an overall score of 3,287 points, with the Superstar Rockers coming second with a score of 3,207. The Swingers scored 2,894 to secure third place while fourth place went to Kingdom Culture with 2,383 points in the A division.
During the parade in downtown Freeport, Junkanoo icon Kenneth "Motor Boat" Ferguson was honoured in true Junkanoo style. Crowds lined the parade route on Pioneer's Way where colourful costumes depicting different stages of his life were displayed; from his days as a track and field athlete to his coaching days in baseball, a model civil servant, to ordained minister and Junkanoo legend. Choreographed dancers dressed as angels with cancer ribbon symbols on their wings as a tribute to his battle with cancer.
Ferguson, founder, and leader of the New Life Classic Dancers, died last year at age 69, and this year's parade was named in his honour.
The New Life Classic Dancers paid a spectacular tribute to their "great fallen hero".
The parade got underway at 6pm with Kingdom Culture first out on the route. Under the theme, "Music Sweet Aye," the group took spectators on a musical journey from the 18th Century baroque music to Caribbean music.
The first piece featured organs and vinyl records. Off the shoulder dancers depicted various genres of music, as the group's choreographed dancers dressed as rock stars with guitars. The lead costume was a compilation of the styles of Goombay, rake 'n' scrape and Junkanoo.
The Superstar Rockers brought the "Wonderful World of Disney" to Grand Bahama, with costumes featuring popular Disney princesses.
The group captured the attention of fans, especially young fans, with their huge colourful life-like costume pieces with classic Disney characters such as Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto.
There were two sections of dancers - the first section dressed as Princess Jasmine of Disney's Aladdin, and the second of Princess Pocahontas.
Under the theme "Dine with Us," defending champions Platinum Knights made fans hungry with their costumes of famous fast foods and popular restaurants.
The group featured various eateries such as Wendy's, Pollo Tropical, Subway, Burger King, Pier One Restaurant, Pizza Hut, KFC and Zorba's.
The group's choreographed dancers dressed as mascots of the Wendy's brand in blue and white striped costumes and red hair braids, danced in unison down Pioneer's Way chanting, 'Welcome to Wendy's may I take your order, please.'
There was also another section of dancers depicting the Pollo Tropical brand. Some of the free dancers were dressed as Junkanoo-costumed mascots of the KFC colonel, and Burger King's mascot.
Fans moved to the beat of goat-skinned drums, cowbells, and horns followed by a gigantic lead costume piece that depicted the well-known Pepper Pot Restaurant.
The Swingers took fans back to yesteryear, "Remembering Freeport, the Magic City," when the city prospered.
The banner was of the Princess Casino/El Casino, and the famous, unique design of the casino's entrance.
The group reflected on famous attractions and landmarks, such as the straw market, miniature golf course and Goombay land, the Columbus Theatre and many others which are no longer in existence.
The choreographed dancers were dressed as straw dolls, and Port Lucaya showgirls and fire dancers. And its lead costume was a tribute to Pioneers of Freeport - Freeport founder Wallace Groves, and the late Sir Jack Hayward, Sir Albert Miller and Edward St George, who contributed to the development of Freeport.
Three B division groups participated this year, including the Showtime Junkanoo Group whose theme was "Symbols of America." Its lead costume, the symbol of liberty, featured US President Abraham Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty. The Bushwhackers and Sting also participated.
In the B division, Showtime won with 1,950 points, with Bushwhackers second, 1,222 points, and Sting with 986 points, according to unofficial results.
The official results are expected to be released by the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee this week.