Plans Underway for 22nd Annual Coconut Festival in Pelican Point
Photo Caption: Coordinators of the 22nd Annual Coconut Festival will move ahead with the heritage festival and are calling on all Grand Bahama residents to support the event and Pelican Point community. Pictured from left: Steven Johnson, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) general manager for Grand Bahama; Cathy Laing, Coconut Festival Committee chairman; Elaine Smith, BMOTA Grand Bahama coordinator; Wendell Saunders, BMOTA Grand Bahama, Groups and Events senior executive; James Curling, Tycoon Investments principal. Photo courtesy of Media Unlimited Bahamas
PELICAN POINT, Grand Bahama, March 9, 2020 — The Coconut Festival Committee and Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) have announced that, despite challenges posed by Hurricane Dorian, the 22nd Annual Coconut Festival will move ahead as planned next month in the Pelican Point Community.
“I am here to report that the residents of Pelican Point are resilient, resolved and determined. Hurricane Dorian may have slowed us down, but it will not stop us,” Cathy Laing, Coconut Festival committee chairman, said during a press conference at the festival grounds on March 6.
Event coordinators held the conference to announce plans for the three-day event, which begins on Friday, April 10 and concludes on Monday, April 13. The festivities will kick off with a gospel concert and fish fry at 3 p.m. on April 10 at the festival site. This event will feature Grand Bahama’s best praise teams, dance teams and gospel performers. On April 12, the committee will worship at the St. Matthew’s Baptist Church grounds. The service starts at 10 a.m. and all are invited to attend.
The Easter weekend activities will culminate with the signature Coconut Festival on April 13. The annual event puts the coconut center stage with a wide range of tasty and fun coconut creations. Hundreds of Bahamians and visitors attend the festival each year to get their coconut craftwork and delicious treats such as coconut jimmy, coconut tart, coconut jam and Gully Wash. The festival also offers traditional Bahamian meals, some even available with a coconut-infused twist.
In addition to the food, the popular event engages its attendees with coconut barking contests as well as performances from some of the country’s top entertainers. This year’s roster includes performances by Veronica Bishop, K.B., St. George’s High Jags Pop Band, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band and the Platinum Knights Junkanoo Group.
“Please join us on Good Friday when we saturate these grounds with prayer, praise and worship. On Sunday, the worship continues at St. Matthews, and then on Easter Monday, join us for culture, fun, food, and coconuts,” Laing said.
Deputy Prime Minister K. Peter Turnquest, member of parliament for East Grand Bahama, emphasized the need for widespread support of this year’s event.
“I join with the committee and community leaders to encourage support for this festival and the residents of this community, many of whom need our collective support to rebuild and to restore their lives and what was lost,” Turnquest said in a written statement.
He added that, “this year's festival takes on an added level of thankfulness and remembrance. We give thanks for God's continued blessings, even as we memorialize and remember those lives lost during the storm and the utter devastation of private and public property.”
Steven Johnson, BMOTA Grand Bahama general manager, commended the festival committee and Pelican Point community on their perseverance and decision to move forward with this year’s event. As a major sponsor for the Coconut Festival, Johnson said the ministry is working to ensure visitors across The Bahamas and around the world come out to experience the event.
“We want to show everybody that this festival is coming back stronger, so we are committed to doing whatever we can to make this event successful,” Johnson said. “We want residents from Nassau and the Family Islands as well as our international guests to come out and experience Coconut Fest. Free transportation will be available to guests from all of the major hotels on the island. So, any visitors interested in attending can just visit the front desk for information on attending the festival.”
The Coconut Festival Committee extended special thanks to James Curling of Tycoon Investments for the clean-up of the community and festival site. The 22nd Annual Coconut Festival is a family-friendly event. Admittance is free for children under 12 and $2 for everyone ages 12 and up.
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Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation