Valley Boys Crowned Junkanoo Summer Festival Champions

After an electrifying four-week battle, a winner has emerged from the 2016 Junkanoo Summer Festival (JSF).

The Valley Boys Junkanoo group was officially crowned the winner of this year’s festival, winning three of the major categories.

With a smile on his face, John Williams, free dancer of the Valley Boys said like every competition, the Valley enters to prove a point and their point has once again been made.

“Each week we did an awesome job. The choreograph was amazing, the music was amazing so it was only a matter of everybody coming together along with the front line dancers to put on an awesome show and we did that,” Williams said.

“We’re working like a well-oiled machine now, everyone is working together in unison and we’re feeding off our two straight victories and also last year’s overall win for the summer festival.”

Prizes were also awarded to Colors for the Overall Winners in the B category.

The King and Queen of Junkanoo Summer Festival, also a hotly contested category for both the A and B categories was captured by Tavio Gaitor (Saxons) and Jessica Mott (Roots). Winning for the B category was Katie Minnis (Fancy Dancers) and Comby Smith (Colors).

Tavio Gaitor, overwhelmed with the results, said that he has never experienced such turbulence trying to vie for a title.

“I’ve been through so much just for one rush, when I heard the results I screamed and said ‘Through adversities to the stars’”, he said.

“I had a car accident the night of the rush at 8 p.m., there was constant change with my costume and my hat was stolen after the parade. So it feels good to know I won.”

Comby Smith, no stranger to winning the title of king of JSF said Junkanoo is who he is and winning comes natural to him.

“With Colors, we do this year round, we travel, eat, sleep and drink Junkanoo. This gives me an advantage over the competitors,” Smith said.

Comby also said being crowned the king for the third time gives him bragging rights that tends to silences the crowd.

“To say I am the king, no matter who is considered the best Junkanoo group, the best A or B group, the best scrap group, it always quiets the crowd when you say you are the king.”

The final night of JSF was more than the results of the competition.

A mini concert was held after the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, the Royal Bahamas Police Force and Prison band captured the attention of the audience.

Ira Storr and the Spank Band, Lady E, Puzzle, Ronnie Butler and Dyson Knight closed the JSF series in true Bahamian form.

Erica Symonette, better known as Lady E, a crowd favorite said seeing people enjoy her music gives her the warmest feeling.

“It’s always a pleasure to perform for my Bahamian people. It’s always a homecoming feeling when you see people enjoying your music and it gives me the most excitement,” she said.

As visitors and residents were treated to a night of classic Bahamian music some took the opportunity to dance the night away.

Moonsan and Evan Stevens of Chicago said they enjoyed learning about the people, food and culture at JSF.

“This is my first time in The Bahamas, we love every bit of it and we don’t want to go home,” Evan said.

 The reason I wanted to come was because I wasn’t very familiar with the culture of The Bahamas.

“We heard so much about this event and I figured it was the best way to expose myself to the culture as a whole. Every day I learn something new and I’m impressed.”

Goombay Summer Festival begins on Saturday, August 6 with an array of Bahamian culture, activities and a weekly concert series.

See full list of results below:

BEST BELLER

1ST Place  -  Rhys Roberts  -  Valley Boys  -  252 Points

2nd Place -  Jason Coakley  - Saxons          -  169 Points

BEST DRUMMER

1ST Place – Alex Bullard  - Valley Boys       - 254 Points

2nd Place – Ashley Riley  - Saxons              - 252 Points

3rd Place (Tie)

Cody Dean           - Colors      - 234 Points

Roamon Wilson – Saxons     - 234 Points

B Group Category

Queen of Junkanoo Summer Festival

Katie Minnis  -  Fancy Dancers  - 614 Points

King of Junkanoo Summer Festival

Macumbla Smith  - Colors          - 737 Points

BEST BANNER

1ST Place  -  COLORS                        - 86 Points

2nd Place –  REDLAND SOLIDERS  – 59 Points

3rd Place –  BODY OF CHRIST        – 56 Points

BEST CHOREOGRAPHED DANCE

1st Place  -  COLORS                      - 637 Points

2nd Place – ORIGINAL CONGOS  - 606 Points

3rd Place –  FANCY DANCERS     – 492 Points

BEST MUSIC

1ST Place  -  COLORS                      -   828 Points

2nd Place   -  ORIGINAL CONGOS  –  651 Points

3rd Place   –  REDLAND SOLDIERS  -  637 Points

BEST OVERALL JUNKANOO SUMMER FESTIVAL GROUP

1st  Place  -  COLORS                                 -  686 Points

2nd Place – ORIGINAL CONGOS              –  513 Points

3rd  Place  - CONQUERORS FOR CHRIST -  504 Points

Junkanoo Summer Festival 2016 Results Cont’d

A Group Category

Queen of Junkanoo Summer Festival

Jessica Mott  -  Roots  - 758 Points

King of Junkanoo Summer Festival

Tavio Gaitor  - Saxons -  824 Points

BEST BANNER

1st Place  -  VALLEY BOYS  -  77 Points

2nd Place -  ROOTS             -  76 Points

3rd Place  - SAXONS           -  73 Points

BEST CHOREOGRAPHED DANCE

1st Place  - SAXONS           -  774 Points

2nd Place – VALLEY BOYS  -  739 Points

3rd Place  -  ROOTS             -  703 Points

BEST MUSIC

1st Place  - VALLEY BOYS  -  785 Points

2nd Place – GENESIS           - 761 Points

3rd Place  - SAXONS           -  737 Points

BEST OVERALL JUNKANOO SUMMER FESTIVAL GROUP

1st Place  -  VALLEY BOYS   -  782 Points

2nd Place  -  SAXONS           -  767 Points

3rd Place   - ONE FAMILY    -  735 Points

Media Contact: Dawn Demeritte | ddemeritte@bahamas.com | (242) 397-2791