The Junkanoo Rush

The Junkanoo Rush

Nassau, Bahamas

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When clocks strike midnight, and Christmas turns into Boxing Day, Bahamian families head for Bay Street.

Junkanoo
is calling

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This moment of passion and parade has been months in the making, months of work for bragging rights about whose performance story is best. The towering costumes of lively colours, the joyous chants and cheers, goatskin drums, trumpeting horns and cowbells dancing through the streets as Bahamians of all ages jump up and root for longstanding family loyalties.

A World Class
Work of Art That
You Dance In

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Junkanoo brings out the colour inside of every Bahamian. For months they work, creating costumes, rehearsing dances, practising music routines. All of it building to competition on Boxing Day. And make no mistake, the sweat and sacrifice isn't work. No, this is all passion stirring a pot of playful contention between families and friends.

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Months before the Junkanoo Festival, artists and craftsmen imagine their costumes, planning and sketching, then sculpting, painting and assembling wildly wonderful works of art from the simplest of materials: cardboard.

Conch Shells,
Cowbells
& Drums

An empty conch shell, a drum made from calfskin, heated and stretched, and cowbells soldered together from scraps of iron, these are the instruments that have historically defined Junkanoo music.

The artist & the historian

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If you want to learn more about Junkanoo, there are two places in Nassau that offer incredibly enriching cultural experiences. And two people who will forever inspire you.

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Arlene Nash
Ferguson

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Educulture
Junkanoo Museum

The museum is her childhood home, and she welcomes you into it as if you were one of her childhood friends. Arlene’s passion for Junkanoo is intoxicating. Her deep knowledge of Junkanoo history paired with her own personal narrative paints more than a picture, it brings Junkanoo to life. As she leads you on a tour of her childhood home, you’ll be able to see and touch grand costumes from past festivals, some she’s even worn herself. One moment you’ll be standing in her living room, the next you're transported to Bay Street at midnight, not sure if the beat of the drum is coming from the other room, or somewhere deep in your heart.

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Barabas
Woodside

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Junkanoo World
Museum & Arts Centre

A musician from childhood, but a teacher now, Barabas’ Junkanoo World (part museum, part Junkanoo workshop, part educational centre) is a uniquely immersive space where you can see costumes and sculptures from Junkanoo days of old, or watch craftsman build drums and fashion cowbells. At any moment, Barabas and his eclectic group of friends may break into an impromptu Junkanoo jam session.

Junkanoo Festival

Summer Festivals

Junkanoo Summer Festival Great Harbour Cay Marina,
Berry Islands

Junkanoo Summer Festival Bimini Craft Centre,
Alice Town, Bimini

Junkanoo Summer Festival Harbour Island, Eleuthera

Junkanoo Summer Festival Berry Islands Bannerman Town Community
Park, Eleuthera

Junkanoo Summer Festival Mangrove Cay, South Andros Savannah Sound Community
Park, Eleuthera

Junkanoo Summer Festival Eight Mile Rock, West End, Grand Bahama

Boxing Day Festivals

December 26 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade Islands of the Bahamas

Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade Bimini Alice Town, Bimini

Boxing Day Junkanoo Celebrations Acklins and Crooked Island

Boxing Day Junkanoo Rush-Out Rum Cay Acklins and Crooked Island

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