Nassau Stories and Tips

Junkanoo Practice

On our first trip to Nassau, two years ago, we were walking along the beach, across from the lighthouse, when we began hearing whistles, horns and drums.

The sounds seemed to be coming towards us.

In a few minutes we saw band of marchers, all of the playing some sort of instrument - either a drum, a horn, a whistle and even a cowbell.

There was quite a few onlookers walking along beside the band. The band stopped its forward progress towards us but after the leader blew a few sharp blasts on his whistle, the band began to dance.

The onlookers all began to sway along with the sound the instruments were making. Not being familiar with what was going on, we asked a Bahamian who was watching just what was going on.

He told us it was a band practicing for the Junkanoo in June festival that was taking place down the road at Arawak Cay.

Junkanoo usually takes place in December each year but Bahamian tourism officials had decided to have a Junkanoo festival on the weekends in June so summer time visitors could enjoy the festivities of Junkanoo.

As we approached the park, we heard gospel music coming from the stage and we saw rows of tents, with local churches and civic organizations selling everything from food to Junkanoo cowbells.

Everyone there - there were many more Bahamians present than tourists - was having a good time.

We actually had such a good time that we couldn't wait until we returned the next June to attend the next festival.

Imagine our disappointment after checking in and asking about the festival to be told that it had been discontinued.

We never could find out why so I guess our next trip to Nassau will be during the real Junkanoo festival.

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