Countdown to Junkanoo begins as new season is launched


YOUTH, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg with Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday. Photo: Moise Amisial


Tribune Staff Reporter


YOUTH, Sports, and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg officially launched the start of the 2022/23 Junkanoo season after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the ministry has expended over $2m in resources this year to ensure the effective delivery of Junkanoo parades around the country.

“The National Junkanoo Committee has assisted us in ensuring the Family Islands’ groups are back on stream and the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence has worked faithfully to ensure that the groups here in New Providence are present for this inaugural Junkanoo parade season on the heels of the COVID pandemic,” Mr Bowleg said at a press conference at his ministry.

The highly anticipated return of the festivities kicks off on Eleuthera on Christmas Day and is expected to be a “very exciting” return to the streets of Georgetown.

The minister said: “The next and most famous competitive parades will be held in New Providence on the morning of December 26 and January 2. There will be six category A groups, 17 category B groups, and 18 fun groups who will be participating.

“This year we are delighted to announce that the New Providence parade will be broadcast by both the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas and Cable 12. The next scheduled parade is in Grand Bahama on the evening of January 2 - five A groups, five B groups, one fun group and two individuals will participate.”

He added: “In the New Year 2023, Junkanoo parades will be held in Abaco, Acklins, Andros, Cat Island and Exuma. In addition, the Junior Junkanoo parade will be held throughout the New Year. Junior Junkanoo in New Providence is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, and later in the year we look forward to Junior Junkanoo in Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco, Andros, and Exuma.”

Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Chairman Dion Miller revealed that the groups are in their final preparation stages and 85 people were certified to judge the upcoming parades.

“The parade management teams are making their final preparations. As of Saturday, December 3, which we call nervous Saturday, all of the groups will officially be on the clock,” Mr Miller said

He highlighted the part technology will play this year in partnership with Aliv as well as timeliness of results being announced.

He said tablets will be used during the judging process and the system will be run on Aliv’s network.

“And so there will be real time (tabulations), real time judging and tabulations of the scores,” he said.

“Last (time), the parades and the results were finished around 11am but we made, I think, a mistake and arranging for the press to hear those results at 2 o’clock and so this year, we’re still finalising the exact time, but we anticipate that it will be an early morning again.

“We would like to get back to being able to announce the parade live after the parade immediately happens and so stay tuned. We’re in the process of finalising that, but we are all about technology and transparency and improving the process for not just the junkanooers, but Bahamians alike.”

Tickets are expected to go on sale soon.

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