GB’s New Year’s Day Junkanoo is back

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Representatives from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, along with the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Corporation and the Royal Bahamas Police Force, announced at a press conference on Friday, December 30, 2022 that all systems are a go for the 2023 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

Junkanoo is back! After a three-year hiatus, the beloved all-time cultural entertainment of the year is returning to Grand Bahama on Monday, January 2, 2023 and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is encouraging the community to show their support.

Representatives from the ministry, along with the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Corporation and the Royal Bahamas Police Force, announced at a press conference on Friday, December 30, 2022 held at the C.A. Smith Building that all systems are a go for the 2023 New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade.

Monique Leary, Cultural Affairs Officer in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture congratulated the groups for readying themselves for the big come back on Pioneer’s Way, now just three days away.

Tickets are on sale at the C.A. Smith Building. 

“It will give all persons in Grand Bahama the opportunity to view the parade. We will have over 47 vendors to support you and cater to you. We will have food, novelties, you name it,” she said. 

Grand Bahama Junkanoo Corporation Chairman Andrew Been revealed that despite the fact that the island has endured a major hurricane, which was followed closely by the COVID-19 pandemic, the groups have been anxiously waiting their return and are ready to put on a spectacular show for Junkanoo enthusiasts.

The first group out of the gate on Monday will be Sting, followed by, the 

Swingers, Showtime, Superstar Rockers, Da Women Dem, Classic Dancers, Bushwackers, Platinum Knights and Kingdom Ambassadors.

Chief Superintendent Brian Rolle, Second Officer in Charge of Grand Bahama for the Northern Bahamas District, is reminding the public that the parade is a no bottle zone and noted that the force has a zero tolerance towards those with ill intentions on the night of the parade.

Rolle also pointed out that the New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade will be the first event of its magnitude staged in Grand Bahama for some time and while they are anticipating a large crowd, the Royal Bahamas Police Force will also be beefing up security and will have roaming teams to identify troublemakers.

“The police intend to make sure that all persons, participants and spectators alike, have a joyous and safe parade, free of incidents. But to do that we will need every person who will be in attendance, group members and participants, to put on what I refer to as their church behavior,” Rolle said.

“However, if there are some whose intentions are nefarious, we will not hesitate to act and provide them with four walls to watch, instead of the parade.”

As far as public access in and around the downtown area on Monday, January 2, the public is advised of a number of road closures between 3:00 pm and 1:00 am Tuesday, January 3, inclusive of East Mall Drive between Explorer’s Way and Adventurer’s Way; Pioneer’s Way between West Atlantic Drive and East Atlantic Drive; McKenzie Street between Adventurer’s Way and Pioneer’s Way; and West Mall Drive between Adventurer’s Way and Pioneer’s Way.

Superintendent of Police Alphonzo Pinder, officer in charge of Police Traffic Division, made an appeal to the motoring public leaving work on Monday to utilize the West Atlantic Drive or East Atlantic Drive to make their transition out of the area smoother.