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Junkanoo Summer on Grand Bahama

For a true taste of Bahamian culture and heritage during your visit to Freeport, drop by the island during the summer – a tropical time to jump in, enjoy the beat, feel the rush and have some fun.

The Bahamian festival of Junkanoo traditionally takes place over Christmas and New Year’s. Now, due to its popularity, Junkanoo Summer has been introduced. Blending art, culture and music, local and national entertainers join the Junkanoo groups to parade through the streets.

The summer festival is not complete if you have experienced a Junkanoo Rush-Out. Whether it’s the children’s rush or the big parade, you will be treated to an incredible splash of colorful splendor in costuming and the rhythmic blending of the sounds of goatskin drums, cowbells and bugles and whistles.

The liveliest and largest of the sensational Bahamas Junkanoo party parades is in Nassau, but you can also experience the intoxicating carnival atmosphere on Grand Bahama Island. An exhilarating street festival will be celebrated in West Grand Bahama on August 6, 13 and 20.  Junkanoo groups will be participating in competitions in the following categories: music, choreography, costumes.  Attendees can enjoy the best of the west, with Junkanoo rush-outs and cultural expression for the entire family.

Legend has it that you haven’t needed an excuse to party in The Bahamas for well over 500 years. But ask folks here at the top of the Caribbean how The Bahamas Junkanoo Tradition got started and they’ll all tell you a different story; with many believing it was established by John Canoe, a legendary West African Prince, who outwitted the English and became a local hero; and others suspecting it comes from the French “gens inconnus,” which translates as “unknown” or “masked people.”

The most popular belief, however, is that it developed from the days of slavery. The influx of Loyalists in the late 18th Century brought many enslaved people who were given three days off at Christmas, which they celebrated by singing and dancing in colorful masks, travelling from house to house, often on stilts. Junkanoo nearly vanished after slavery was abolished, but the revival of the festival in The Bahamas now provides entertainment for thousands.

To learn more about the Junkanoo Summer celebration, and to plan your trip to Freeport, drop us a line at or visit the website at To learn more about all our travel destinations and to find out about upcoming specials, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: iStock