By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
GOOMBAY Summer Festival will kick off on Grand Bahama on Thursday at Taino Beach - the beginning of four weeks of cultural celebration for residents and visitors here on the island.
Sanique Culmer, manager of groups and events at the Ministry of Tourism, said the festival highlights the island's local culture through showcasing the best in food, crafts, and entertainment.
Bahamian artists D-Mac, Dyson Knight, Geno D, Elon Moxey, Veronica Bishop, Ira Storr and the Spank Band, Stileet, KB, and Grand Bahama Police Pop Band are some of the featured performers this year.
The festival - which coincides with the country's independence celebrations - is an annual signature cultural event that takes place every Thursday in July from 6pm until midnight at the popular Taino Beach grounds.
Ms Culmer said the festival is designed to heighten the visitor experience, increase visitor spend, and drive economic growth.
"With the opening night of this year's festival being an official part of the island's national independence celebrations, attendees can enjoy the conch and coconut demonstrations; nature walks, bush tea tasting, the ministry's 'People-to-People' experience, and a special surprise in the coming weeks," she said.
She stated that Commonwealth Brewery, in celebration of its 30 years in business, will play a major role in Goombay Summer Festival.
As a partner of the event, Ms Culmer said the company brings its signature 'Made in The Bahamas Festival' to life in the second and closing weeks of the festival. The ministry believes that the merger of the two "iconic" events will provide a fantastic show and revitalise tourism product.
As a result of their ongoing partnership with BTC, attendees will have access to free Wi-Fi and a tech pop up shop.
Trevor Turnquest, vice president of network and engineering at BTC, said BTC is pleased to be an ongoing sponsor of the event. "We hope that this year's festival will be a success," he said.
Eris Hutchinson, the City of Freeport Council representative of East Grand Bahama, is getting the park ready for the festival. "We want to have a clean and safe environment," he said.