Much to the delight of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation officials,Junkanoo Summer Festival 2018 has shattered international visitor attendance records.
According to data compiled from a number of bus shuttles in New Providence that provided guest transportation between hotels/cruise ships and the festival site, more than 1,000 visitors flocked to Arawak Cay from July 7 to August 4 to be a part of the signature festival.
During the festival, patrons were able to experience succulent food, shop for authentic Bahamian craft, listen to new and old Bahamian music and dance to the thunderous sounds of Junkanoo performed by various groups.
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said that the record breaking attendance at this year’s Junkanoo Summer Festival was music to the ears of officials.
“It’s really been an incredible festival and we have had record participation from visitors and locals,” he said. “We wanted to attract our visitors to something they can experience and what is a better experience than Junkanoo? We are glad that visitors were able to leave the cruise ships and hotels to come and experience this and have a good time.”
Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said she believes that every year the festival will improve.
“The demand for Junkanoo Summer Festival both by locals and visitors is so huge in both Nassau and the Family Islands that we know that this is something that we will continue for years. We will continue to evolve and we will continue to tweak. Those things we did well in, we want to make better and those things we did better, we want to make great,” she said.
Many tourists said they were blown away by the festival.
Georgia Hutchinson from New York was one of them.
“I love the food and I was able to buy gifts for some family members and I hope when I do come back this is going on because I want to bring friends and family,” she said.
Richard Williams of North Carolina was another visitor who was impressed.
“Junkanoo music is amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t help but dance. The food was really incredible too. I feel like I took a big bite of Bahamian culture and I’ve got to say, I certainly like the taste.”
Junkanoo Summer Festival 2018 was sponsored by Rev Go, Movi Group, DigiPrint, Titan Hospitality, Kalik/700 Islands, Bristol Cellars, John Bull, Little Switzerland, Commonwealth Bank, Graycliff, Sunshine Insurance, BTC, Swift Enterprises, AML Foods Limited, Mailboat Co. Ltd. and Blue Lagoon Island.
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Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs