Junkanoo has been around for over 500 years. It is known to be one of our most loved cultural events on Grand Bahama. People would come from all around the world just to see our unique costumes, parade bands, and dancers. There are lots of reasons why our Grand Bahamians come out for such a special night. One of them is to have fun an to take pride in our culture, another is for family members and group support, and lastly for ‘competition’.
All Junkanoo Groups must participate in attempting to win the cash prize. This being said, judges must be put into place. Before any group start to design their costume they must first go to the governors office to choose a theme out of the list provided, only then can each group start to make their banners and costumes. The judges would choose their winners based on the best Choreograph, Music,Costumes, Banners, Showtime, Overall Performance, and Participation.
At first the competition aspect of Junkanoo was not of major importance. Being as Junkanoo began as a part of celebration of the holidays by the Africans they performed as a form of leisure. Even though Junkanoo is a part of us and our Bahamian culture. Today Junkanoo is seen as one of the biggest competitions in Grand Bahama. Many participants try their hardest to do whatever it takes to walk away with the big prize. Alot of time and precision is spent creating costumes which begins as soon as Junkanoo has ended from the previous year. The participants of Junkanoo dedicate their all to this being that they want to win so badly. During their preparation it is vital for them to ensure that there are no points taken off in any area to fit the judging criteria.
There are also certain criteria’s each group must follow. Some are :
- The Maximum number of people that are allowed to be group supporters.
- The Minimum amount of people that must be in each group.
- A Restriction on music recorded (Recorded Music only allowed on banner).
- Must complete a certain number of laps.
- Each costume must have a maximum amount of cloth and a minimum fraction of crepe paper.
- There should be no cardboard visible on any costumes.
- Groups must be lined up orderly.
Failure to follow any of these criteria’s will result in a penalty of deducted points.
By: Angel Waldron & Angel Bain