Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Majestic Crusaders declared the official winners of GB Junkanoo

Tribune Freeport Reporter

FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA- The Majestic Crusaders were declared the official winners of the New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade in Grand Bahama. It is the first win for the young group, which has been competing for less than six years.
The Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee released the official results on Monday morning at the International Building.
For the first time, all the Division B groups – Rotary International, The Scraps, Bushwhackers and Sting – were disqualified for failing to meet the minimum group requirement for the parade.
The Crusaders won in the Division A Category, receiving 2,778 points and beating last year’s champions by 350 points.
The Swingers was second with 2,428 points, and coming in third was the Classic Dancers, with 2,360 points. The Superstar Rockers was fourth with 2,239 points, and fifth and sixth place went to the Kingdom Culture and Bayshore Warriors, respectively.
Committee chairman Derek King said the evening parade continues to grow in Grand Bahama, attracting new groups and a large spectator turnout.
“Junkanoo in Grand Bahama has grown over the years. It is not at the level as it is in Nassau, but it continues to grow,” he said.
Mr King commended the groups that participated this year, despite the economic downturn which has resulted in the loss of some corporate sponsors.
“The quality of costumes was fantastic,” he said.
The parade got off to a very late start, with the first lap beginning at 8pm. Thousands of residents and visitors lined the parade route on Pioneer’s Way and the Mall Drive.
This year, some groups had suffered significant costume damage after culprits broke into their shacks and deliberately destroyed costume pieces which had to be repaired.
Mr King noted that some groups were challenged in getting to the parade which resulted in one withdrawing at the last minute.
While there is a lot of pressure on groups to get out on time, Mr King said it all boils down to leadership and organisation.
“I think the Swingers demonstrated that and came out at the gate on time at 6pm with all of their pieces,” King reported.
Unfortunately, the Arawak Invaders pulled out of the parade at the last minute because of some difficulties.
“We want to encourage them to continue to keep the faith because we do not want group members to be discouraged.” Mr King said. “Once you miss the parade you start to see groups losing members to other groups because the junkanooers really want to rush.”
The Junior Junkanoo parade will be held next Saturday.

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