Monday, May 30, 2011

Corporate support mounts for 'Rush For Peace' Junkanoo parade

Submitted by Lashann Dames

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Official events to kick-off the ‘Rush For Peace’ celebration get underway on Sunday at Our Lucaya Resort with a church service to be conducted by Kingdom Worship Centre, followed by a youth rally at Independence Park. Then attention turns to the much-anticipated Junkanoo parade, scheduled for Friday June 3, at 6pm in downtown Freeport.

Principal sponsor of ‘Rush For Peace’, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has been joined by various corporate entities on the island, all giving their full support to the cultural event. At a recent press conference, Director of Community Relations at the Port, Geneva Rutherford commended the organizers. “We are pleased that they have chosen to offer such a wide variety of components – church service, youth rally, rush-out, Bahamian concert, etc. The expected arrival of so many from throughout the islands of the Bahamas and hundreds of Grand Bahamians attending these events will hopefully bring a great injection of capital to the city with far reaching effects within the greater Grand Bahama community,” she said.

Additional sponsors include: Grand Bahama Power Company, Hutchison Port Holdings Bahamas, Ministry of Youth Sports & Culture, Burns House, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Freepoint Tug & Towing Services Ltd, Grand Bahama Shipyard and the Ministry of Tourism.

Describing ‘Rush For Peace’ as the “kick-off of a heated summer festival season”, was Betty Bethel, General Manager-Groups & Events, MOT. “We are proud to be a supporter and endorser of an event of this caliber aimed at promoting peace in our community while providing an opportunity for visitors and residents to enjoy another form of cultural explosion. The initiative behind it speaks to tourism being everybody’s business,” Bethel expressed.
As stated by MOT, summer events will continue with a Downtown International Food & Cultural Festival, planned for June 17 and 18, featuring native Bahamian foods, international cuisine, arts and crafts, cultural displays and much more. The annual Summer Junkanoo Festival on Taino Beach follows, the first week in July.

Supporting ‘Rush For Peace’ and the ‘Downtown International Food & Cultural Festival’ is the Grand Bahama Power Company. “Junkanoo is as Bahamian as it gets and what Junkanoo represents for this country is a symbol of prosperity, culture, national pride and now a symbol of peace. So, it was an obvious choice for us to show cultural and community support for these kinds of events,” stated Philcher Grant-Farquharson, Corporate Communications-GBPC.

Lee Wallace, Freepoint Tug & Towing, agreed. “We got onboard with ‘Rush For Peace’ without hesitation,” he stated. “In light of the present economic state on Grand Bahama, it’s time for companies like us and a number of others to step forward. Grand Bahama needs the support of its entire community, individuals and corporate sponsors.”

Summarizing sponsors’ support was Executive Director, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Mercynth Ferguson. According to her, any activity that stimulates the economy is welcomed. “We are most pleased to be a part of this event that promises to be exciting and the start of a new rush for the new economy of Grand Bahama,” she said confidently.

The Order of Entry for the upcoming June 3rd Junkanoo rush-out was also released. Coming out first will be Grand Bahama’s New Years Day champions, Majestic Crusaders. The Valley Boys out of Nassau are next, followed by local Junkanoo group, the Swingers, and the Shell Saxons Super Stars. Other groups expected to participate include, Bush Wackers, Sting and combined Rotary clubs.

Additional events include a meet and greet street party at the International Bazaar, on Thursday June 2 at 6pm and an all-Bahamian concert and awards ceremony on Taino Beach on Saturday June 4 starting at Noon.

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