Bahamas Culture Dazzles at S. Florida Reception

Bahamian cultural extravaganza of music and delicious Island bites a wow factor at South Florida reception

An impressive crowd including members of South Florida’s Consular Corps, business and other key influencers in the South Florida community, and the local media, were feted to a dazzling display of Bahamian culture at a reception held Thursday, July 23rd, at the Kampong, Coconut Grove, in celebration of The Bahamas’ 42nd Independence Anniversary.

The reception, The Miami Bahamas Junkanoo Festival kickoff, was a joint effort between the City of Miami, The Bahamas Consulate General Miami and The Bahamas Tourist Office, Florida and featured the world famous Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band. Other highlights of the evening were an exciting display of color and sounds, by group, Bahamas Junkanoo Revue, and delicious Island tastes from Bahamian chefs flown in for the event.

The music of The RBPF Pop Band captured and delighted the audience that feasted on signature Bahamian cocktails and foods such as conch salad, conch fritters, crawfish salad on cool cucumbers, chicken and creamy grits, beef pastries and breaded shrimp. The delicious tastes were prepared by Chefs team, Chef Sheldon Tracey Sweeting along with Chef Ron Johnson and Mixologist Marv Cunningham.

Organizers of Thursday night’s event, noted that among the goals of the Miami Bahamas Junkanoo Festival was to: “Emphasize the special synergy of harmony and goodwill between the City of Miami and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and promote the history, traditions, culture, family and community unity of West Grove and South Florida as the Bahamian Diaspora.”

Bahamas Consul General Miami, H. Ricardo Treco, said, the event was about closing the gap of Bahamian presence in South Florida. “I really wanted to bridge that gap and bring back some Bahamianization into South Florida,” he said.

Also commenting on the role of Bahamians in South Florida was a prominent businessman in the Miami area, Monty Trainer. President of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Mr. Trainer, who is also of Bahamian descent, said he’s pushing for Coconut Grove to be called “Little Bahamas”.

The records of Florida history include information on the major role that Bahamians played in establishing Coconut Grove, Florida. Bahamians were also involved in the building of the City of Miami, while taking part in what was known as “The Contract”.

Historians have recorded that in 1896 when Miami was chartered as a city, more than 40 percent of the black population was Bahamian.

Media Contact: Jeannie Gibson | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism | (954) 236-9292 | jgibson@bahamas.com